22 May, 2013

Bombay Potatoes or Bombay Bataka Recipe | No Onion-No Garlic Potato Curry Recipe

Learn how to make Bombay Potato/Bombay Bataka ~ Potatoes cooked in a hot, sweet and sour tomato and tamarind gravy (No onion-no garlic recipe)

So we had another episode of Lil Dumpling falling sick and then were rushed to children’s ward in an ambulance after distressed emergency call to 999! It, unfortunately, was our 3rd time being admitted to hospital in this year, not counting every month’s visit to the doctor’s clinic with very sick Lil Dumpling suffering with wide varieties of viral and bacterial infections. I am starting to think that 2013 is not really a year of good health.

Bombay Bataka or Bombay Potatoes ~ Beautiful marriage of sweet, sour and spicy flavours!

We have been warned before that this will be the case until he turns 5-6 year old due to his birth history. We always knew the kind of sufferings we had to go through every time when LD fell ill. But funnily enough, none of this practical knowledge keeps you prepared for the kind of pain and heartbreaks one has to go through when you see your little one suffering. Times like these when you feel the most vulnerable, you just have to accept the fact that not everything is within one’s control and there are few things that are beyond our understanding! At those moments of utter helplessness the rays of hope, prayers from the loved ones, determination to keep your little one safe and healthy and the trust in medical science that keeps us going.

On daily basis I receive few comments on this blog, but get many emails in my mailbox and messages in Facebook page from the readers of my blog. Some compliment me for posting recipes that they found quite useful, and some share their family recipes with me. There are many instances when few wants to clear some doubts regarding the recipes, few constructive criticism which helped me a lot in improving the blog and also very few instances where someone tried to find a joy (?!) by leaving quite harsh, abusive and negative comments trying their level best to put me off. If you are wondering where those comments are, then let me tell you that they are binned immediately as I strongly felt that’s where they belonged! ;) And then there are comments I started to receive from the time Lil Dumpling came into picture, thanks to all the little stories and funny antics of Lil Dumpling that I share in Facebook page, Twitter account and the photo stories updated regularly on my Instagram page. All of the above have made in building up an image of Lil Dumpling’s life and made Lil Dumpling a pea sized celebrity (not)! Some of the messages from readers around the world make me smile, some leave me amused, some lifts my spirits and some leaves me wondering about the image I portray in this virtual world through my blog and social networking sites!

Bombay Potato or Bombay Bataka ~ No onion-no garlic recipe

The image I am portraying in social network is not a whole picture, but a part or a slice of my life, a part which I am most comfortable in sharing with complete strangers. So when someone writes to me saying how good a mother I am and how they want to be just like me when they become mother themselves, I am left feeling bit awkward! Just because I find humour in most of LD’s antics doesn’t mean that I don’t have periods of breakdowns or times of confusions! Just because I find LD’s action quite endearing doesn’t mean that there are moments of frustrations when I find myself pulling my hair or climbing up the walls! Just because I love him more than my life doesn’t mean that he never gets any timeouts for his misbehaviours in public spaces or in the privacy of our home! There are many beautiful, special, joyous, funny and happy moments with Lil Dumpling, and at the same time there are equally frustrating, confusing, heartbreaking, and awkward moments! Everything is a learning curve; we learn from our mistakes and make sure that we don’t repeat the same mistakes again! As much as I tell you the little stories of Lil Dumpling’s achievements, mischief, funny things he says, not so funny things he does, etc etc, there are few other details I leave out like the number visits to doc’s clinic, hospital admissions, unexpected tantrums he throws at the drop of a hat, crying sessions when we drop him at his day care, delay in speech which frustrates him a lot when unable to communicate sometimes, etc. It is not really pretty picture and it doesn’t get mentioned very often, expect in my private mommy blog or with loved ones!

Like any other people’s lives, we too go through many moments of frustrations, confusions, sadness, silliness, awkwardness, and heart breaks. And like any others there are the moments of jubilations, celebrations, hilarities, happiness and awesomeness. So it kind of puts me in a very awkward position when someone compliments on my mothering skills or praises for my parenting technique. I am not a ‘super’ mom or ‘perfect’ woman as most of you call me. I am far from being a perfect mom and that’s how I prefer my life to be! Because to call one perfect means there is no room for errors or mistakes. And when there are no mistakes then you stop learning the great lessons of life! I honestly believe that the word Perfection is seriously over rated! :) We don’t live in a perfect world and we definitely don’t have a perfect life. It is these little imperfections in our life are what make it wonderfully exhilarant! It is up to us how we harmonise different flavours of life to blend beautifully so that they compliment one another.

Finger licking good Bombay Bataka/Bombay Potatoes

Like this Bombay Bataka or Bombay Potato with different flavours beautifully harmonising with one another. The recipe for Bombay Potatoes comes from my recent favourite cookbook Prashad by Mrs Kaushy Patel. This sweet, spicy and sour curry of potatoes cooked in tomato and tamarind gravy has always been my most favourite food to eat in their family restaurant. It was the very same Bombay Bataka that I helped me to satisfy my pregnancy cravings when I couldn’t get my hands on the food cooked by my mother. I had tried to recreate the taste of these Bombay Potatoes many times, but none of them tasted like the one cooked by Kaushy aunty. So when I came to know about her cookbook, I knew I would buy it without blinking twice just for this one recipe of Bombay Bataka that had me rolling on my bed many nights trying to nail the correct ingredients and cooking technique.

Bombay Potatoes or Bombay Bataka ~ THE mother of all Potato Curries!

What came as a pleasant surprise was the ingredients used in this recipe of Bombay Potato is its simplicity, both in terms of ingredients used and also the cooking technique! This Bombay Bataka has no onion and garlic in it and hence is purest form of Satvik food! The number of spices used in this recipe is very few, but the taste of this Bombay Bataka will blow you away! Much of the flavour comes from the use of freshest ingredients, the acidity from tomatoes, sweetness from jaggery (unrefined cane sugar), sourness from tamarind, pungency from fresh ground ginger and aroma of fresh coriander leaves which is used in plenty instead of just pretty garnish! The starch from potatoes gives this sweet, sour and spicy gravy a creamy texture and makes this one of the most delicious Potato Curry ever!

I know there are over million recipes for Potato Curries all over the blog-o-sphere and www world, including my own blog! But will you believe me if I am to tell you that this Bombay Potatoes or Bombay Bataka is THE mother of all potato curries? Oh yes… it is! :) Proof, they say, is in the pudding. But in this case the proof is in the most delicious potato curry! :) Try it for yourself and find yourself falling in love this recipe. And then don’t forget to thank Kaushy aunty for generously sharing her secret recipe with us! :)

Ingredients used for Bombay Bataka or Bombay Potatoes

Bombay Bataka/Bombay Potatoes (Potatoes cooked in a hot, sweet and sour tomato and tamarind gravy ~ No onion-no garlic recipe)
Prep Time: 10-15 mins
Cooking Time: 30-35 mins
Recipe Level: Easy/Beginner
Spice Level: Medium
Serves: 6-7 people
Recipe Source: Prashad by Mrs. Kaushy Patel
Shelf Life: 2-3 days in refrigerator
Serving Suggestion: With any Indian flat breads (Whole Wheat Naan or Butter Naan or with any stuffed parathas) or plain/flavoured Basmati rice

3 large Potatoes
400 gms canned/tinned Plum Tomatoes or 4 large Tomatoes
1½ inch Ginger
1-2 tbsp grated Jaggery/Palm Sugar (Adjust as per taste)
1 large gooseberry sized Tamarind Pulp or ½-¾ tsp Tamarind Paste/Concentrate
Handful of Coriander Leaves, finely chopped (approx ½ packed cups)
Salt to taste

Spices Used:
1-1½ tsp Red Chilli Powder (Adjust as per taste)
½ tsp Haldi/Turmeric Powder
1 heaped tbsp Dhania/Coriander Powder
¾ tsp Garam Masala

For Tadka/Tempering:
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
1-2 Dry Red Chilli, halved
A generous pinch of Hing/Asafoetida
1-2 tbsp Oil
Bombay Potato or Bombay Bataka

Preparation Work:
  1. Pressure cook or boil potatoes until they are well cooked (read notes). When cool enough to handle, peel their skin and dice them into 1½ inch cubes. Keep them aside until needed.
  2. If using the canned plum tomatoes, simply puree them in a food processor or finely chop them. Alternatively, you can use the fresh tomatoes by blanching them in boiling water for 5 minutes before chopping them finely or pureeing to smooth paste. Keep it aside until needed.
  3. Peel and roughly chop the ginger before grinding it to fine paste in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. Keep it aside until needed.
  4. Soak tamarind pulp in a ½ cup of hot water. Once the water is cool enough to handle, extract the juice from the pulp and discard the pulp. Keep the extracted tamarind juice aside until needed.

Proceed to Cook:
  1. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds to it. When mustard starts to pop and splutter, add cumin seeds, dry red chillies and hing. Fry them for 20-30 seconds on medium flame until cumin seeds sizzle and deepen its colour.
  2. Add tomato puree and jaggery and increase the heat to high. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Next add coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, tamarind extract and crushed ginger. Mix in half of finely chopped coriander leaves. Pour in about 2 cups of boiling water and add salt to taste. Reduce the heat to low and let the gravy cook covered for about 10 minutes without disturbing. The slow cooking helps all the ingredients to blend well and the flavours to develop.
  4. After 10 minutes, remove the lid and mix in garam masala. Let the curry simmer for a minute or two for the flavours to develop.
  5. Add cubed potatoes and increase the heat to medium and let the curry cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Mash 4-5 pieces of potatoes with a help of a ladle (optional step) to thicken the gravy and let it cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. Add the remaining chopped coriander leaves and mix them well. Cover and let the Bombay Bataka or Bombay Potato Curry rest for 10 minutes for all the flavours to blend.
  8. Gently reheat the Bombay Bataka before serving hot with any Indian flat breads (Whole Wheat Naan or Butter Naan or with any stuffed parathas) or plain/flavoured Basmati rice
Bombay Potato/Bombay Bataka ~ Potatoes cooked in a hot, sweet and sour tomato and tamarind gravy (No onion-no garlic recipe)

Sia’s Notes:
  • The best way to cook the potatoes is in pressure cooker. To cook in a pressure cooker, place the scrubbed and washed potatoes in a container and place it in the pressure cooker with 1- 1½ inch high water in the pressure cooker. Do not add any water to the container with potatoes. Cover the cooker with lid and place the weight/whistle. Cook the potatoes on high flame for 6-7 minutes or 2 whistles. Lower the flame and let it simmer for another 7-8 minutes before turning off the gas. The large potatoes will take little longer to cook. Let the pressure release completely before opening the lid. Check if the potatoes are cooked through by inserting the sharp knife or fork. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel the skin and dice them in to 1½ inch cubes. Do not rinse the hot potatoes under running water or cold water as the potatoes will turn soggy.
  • Be generous with fresh coriander leaves as it is one of the main ingredients in this recipe and not just a pretty garnish.
  • I highly recommend using fresh ginger paste instead of bottled or pre-made ones. Just peel the ginger and chop them roughly and then crush to paste using mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
  • The garam masala is added at the end and it certainly enhances the aroma and flavour.
  • I personally like to use the tamarind juice extracted by soaking the tamarind pulp in hot water as it has the hint of sweetness to the sharp sour taste. but if you cant find the tamarind pulp, feel free to use tamarind paste or concentrate which is easily available in any good Asian stores or supermarkets.


  1. yummm yummm yummm is THE WORD.. I will be making this curry this weekend despite the fact that my husband is not big fan of potatoes.. but ehh.. I want it!!! LOL.. I love your recipes Siya.. I just haven't gotten around to experiment.. but this is where it starts!! Thank you for all the effort you put to create this blog..

  2. I'd love to eat that right now! A great dish.



  3. hi sia... loved reading this post... I've two girls and thanks to the Almighty, they are healthy enough not to get sick, but your writing reminds me of my colleague's child who continously get attacks that needs to be hospitalised. Now that she is hitting 6, things are slowing down but still each time she shoes a slight hint of sickness, my colleague goes into tension. children are like a test to us in this life and how we handle them all depends on how we are. my colleagues and others also keep saying how good a mother i am, but some things we cannot express, as to how our moods work with them... the batata looks lipsmacking good... again thank u for such a touching read, hope your little munchkin will get back to good health very soon... :)

  4. This is my favorite recipe too Sia.. love the colors and the glimpse of Naan behind..

  5. Thanks for the recipe, was waiting for this as I love potatoes!! This recipe is really unique, never heard of tamarind juice with potatoes... will try it out tonight! And thanks to your Kaushy aunty for the recipe!

  6. Mouth licking and Awesome recipe...It made me so tempting that i have to give it a try.Wonderful clicks...

  7. Sia, When you mentioned about the various phases in LD's life I really felt that you have penned what happens on daily basis at my home.. But the I love your spirit of taking things positively and looking for humor in everything.
    Lovely recipe and I am bookmaring this to make soon.. how I wish I had seen this early today as I had some boiled potatoes waiting in the fridge that got into making some spicy potato song.. This will be my next to do dish as I love the combination of sweet, spicy and tangy!

  8. I guess,it should be Bombay BataTa insread of BataKa!
    Batata means Potato in Marathi and Gujrati.

  9. Hi Sia, Hope you are doing well and LD :), your post is so touching, It reminds me of my sis and her son & hubby, My sis went through this problem for 6 yrs and still does my nephew is 10 yrs now, but the frequency has come down, Doctor's said it will get better when he gets old, I also feel It is because she is very strict with both of H's and son's food habits and also he himself has adapted to a life style of what is good to him and not, he is very cautious about everything, he is scared what might happen if he eats or drinks anything!!. Be brave and everything will be alright soon, I always think of my little sis who is always worried, as you stated that's how she also feels with her family around, she is more tensed up, I pray to God everyday to keep her fit for everything she faces day to day in her life, God Bless you too Sia, you are like my sis He will take care. Just came back from B'lore visiting my family missing them, reading your post my heart went out to both of you., I feel she is a super mom who handles everything so well, you too sia, that gives you positive energy, Hugs Jayasri
    Oh! lovely clicks as always, I make something like this minus Garam masala and ginger, I call it Aloogadde Gojju, I add cumin powder too.., should try out with the spices you have used, anything with Aloo is family favourite, so will definitely give this a try.

  10. This came out very very tangy...is this how its supposed to taste? Apart from 4 small tomatoes blanched and pureed i also poured in 200 gms of tinned puree... is that y? and of course the tamarind juice...

  11. @Veer Suparn Desh, even I thought the same before but it IS called as Bombay Bataka both in the restaurant and in the cookbook :)

  12. @Maina Shet, 200gms of tomato + 4 blanched and pureed tomatoes + tamarind extract is definitely too much :) no wonder the curry was very tangy. you can add 1-2 more potatoes and adjust the jaggery and red chilli powder to balance the flavours.

  13. @Jayasri Ravi, that is such a kind and sweet comment :) Thank you!

  14. Curry looks good. Hope your little one is better now.

  15. Hi Sia, tried this curry yesterday and it came out very tasty. Everybody at home loved it. Thanks for sharing:)

  16. Hi Sia,
    My son is of the same age and can understand the nuances,thanks for this sharing this wonderful recipe this surely the mother of all potato curries :))

  17. Hi,I just want to add a little correction here as you have mentioned several times Bombay Bataka or Bombay Potato.The word is BATATA and not bataka.Potato is generally called batata in mumbai.

    1. I am well aware of the fact that potato is called batata in Marathi as it is called as batate in Kannada. But this is a Gujarati dish and it is calked as bataka in the cookbook from which I cooked this recipe.

  18. Awesome dish... Mouth watering...


Namaste! I am Sia and welcome to Monsoon Spice, my virtual home. Thank you for all your comments, inputs and feedback. I really appreciate the valuable time you spent browsing through my recipe repertoire.

I hope you have found what you are looking for today. Feel free to leave any questions or queries you have on the recipes posted here. If you have any recipe requests, please drop a line at Ask Sia page. I will try to respond to all your queries as soon as possible to best of my knowledge.

I welcome all your valuable inputs and constructive criticism as long as it is meant to help and improve the blog. I reserve the right to delete any comments that are rude, abusive, written with the intent to advertise, contain profanity or considered spam.

I hope that you will stop by again to read my rants, learn new recipes and share your ideas. Have a good look around and enjoy your time here. Thank you once again!