Batata Bhaji is a simple and easy-to-make dry side dish (sabji) from Maharashtrian cuisine. Made using potatoes and basic Indian spices, it pairs well with puri, chapati, and pav. You can even repurpose it for sandwiches, stuffed idli, dosa stuffing, or paratha stuffing (vegan, can be easily made gluten-free).
About This Recipe
Batata Bhaji is a popular Maharashtrian aloo dish. Batata here means “potato” and bhaji means “sabzi.” Prepared with basic spices, this Ukadleli Batatyachi Bhaji (boiled potato sabji) is made in almost every Maharashtrian household for everyday meals.
Batata Bhaji, or Maharashtrian-style aloo sabzi, has a light yellow color from the use of turmeric and is lightly spiced, unlike the North Indian Aloo Sabzi, which is quite hot and spicy.
Batata Bhaji gets its spicy taste from the use of green chili peppers and curry leaves, which give it a nice Maharashtrian touch.
Apart from daily meals, I have also seen Maharashtrians making this dish for their special festival meals, and it is also an item on their wedding menu.
It is very popular as Naivedya (an offering) to Lord Ganesh during Ganesh Festival, or as part of the Satyanarayan Puja Prasad thali. In this version, onion and garlic are not used.
This sabji is also great to pack for lunch boxes with paratha and poori.
Potatoes – Boil the potatoes, peel them, and cut them into cubes to make sabji.
Onions – This sabji can be prepared with or without onions. When made for prashad (offering to god) or for upvas (Indian fasting), onions are not added.
Green Chili Peppers – Green chili peppers are used to add spice to this aloo sabzi. Increase or decrease green chilies as per your taste.
Curry Leaves – Curry leaves add a refreshing taste.
Oil – Traditionally, peanut oil is used to make Batata Bhaji. You can also use any vegetable oil or ghee.
Turmeric Powder – The only spice powder that you need is turmeric powder.
Cashew Nuts – Cashews add a nice crunch. You can also use peanuts instead of cashews.
Cilantro – Garnish the sabzi with chopped cilantro (coriander) after preparing, for a refreshing taste.
Others – Apart from these ingredients, you will need salt, sugar, asafetida (hing), mustard seeds, cumin seeds, lime juice, garlic, and fresh ginger.
How to Make Batata Bhaji
Start by boiling 8 oz (220 g) of potatoes. You can boil them in a pressure cooker or Instant Pot, or in a pot over the stove. Once the potatoes are boiled, peel them and cut them into 1-inch cubes, and set them aside. You can also crush the potatoes with your fingers instead of cutting them with a knife.
Heat 2 tablespoon peanut oil in a pan over medium-high heat. If you don’t have peanut oil, use whichever oil you have.
Once the oil is hot, add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, ¼ teaspoon asafoetida, and 10-12 whole curry leaves, and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.
Add ½ cup thinly sliced onions, 2 teaspoon chopped green chili peppers, 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger and 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic. Fry over medium heat until the onions turns slightly brown. It will take 6-8 minutes.
Notes: Adjust the quantity of chili according to taste. You can skip adding onion, ginger, and garlic if you have any dietary restrictions.
Add 2 tablespoon crushed cashews and ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, and then fry for 3-4 seconds. You can use crushed roasted peanuts in place of cashews.
Now add the cubed potatoes, salt (to taste), and ½ teaspoon sugar, and mix well. Cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
Add 1 teaspoon lime juice and 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro, and toss well. Serve hot.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can just skip adding onion and garlic to make this sabzi. The process and other ingredients will be the same.
Traditionally, this dish is prepared with regular potatoes, but you can make a healthy version of this sabzi with sweet potatoes too.
Boil, peel, and cube the sweet potatoes and follow the same process. The taste of the sabzi will be slightly on the sweeter side because of sweet potatoes.
To make this sabji in an Instant Pot, you will need raw potatoes instead of boiled potatoes. Peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes.
Press SAUTE and add oil to the pot.
Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafetida, and curry leaves, and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.
Add onion, green chili peppers, ginger, and garlic, and fry for 6-8 minutes until the onions turn slightly brown.
Add crushed cashews and turmeric powder, and then fry for 3-4 seconds.
Now add the cubed potatoes, salt, sugar, and ¼ cup of water, and mix well.
Close the lid of the pot and set the valve to the sealing position.
Press CANCEL and then press PRESSURE COOK. Set the timer to 5 minutes on high pressure.
Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.
Release the remaining pressure manually and open the lid.
Press SAUTE and cook until all the remaining water is absorbed and the sabji is dry.
Add lime juice and chopped cilantro, and toss well. Serve hot.
Traditionally, it is served with hot Puffed Puri and Amarkhand, or Aamras in summer.
I also like to serve it on the side whenever I make dal with steamed rice. You can also enjoy this with pav or dosa.
You can also use the leftover Batata Bhaji to make sandwiches, rolls, masala dosa, stuffed parathas, patties, etc.
You can store this for about 3 to 4 days in an airtight container. Reheat it in a pan or microwave until it is nice and warm before serving.
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Batata Bhaji Recipe
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil (or any other oil)
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¼ teaspoon asafetida (hing) (skip for vegan)
- 10-12 whole curry leaves
- ½ cup thinly sliced onion
- 2 teaspoons chopped green chili peppers
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons crushed cashew nuts (or crushed roasted peanuts)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 8 ounces boiled potatoes (225 g, peeled and cubed)
- salt (to taste)
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (coriander)
- Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafetida, and curry leaves, and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.
- Add onions, green chili peppers, ginger, and garlic, and fry over medium heat until the onions turns slightly brown. It will take 6-8 minutes.
- Add crushed cashews and turmeric powder, and fry for 3-4 seconds.
- Now add cubed potatoes, salt, and sugar, and mix well. Cook for 3-4 minutes over medium heat.
- Add lime juice and chopped cilantro and toss well. Serve hot.