Friday, November 11, 2005

Street Food: Ragda Patties

Today I made yet another chaat dish, one of those tasty treats from the family of Indian street foods.

This is what it is: A fried potato patty topped with a tasty peas curry and garnished with tangy sauces. It is yet another snack that makes an easy transition to a one-dish meal. Piping hot and layered with several flavors, it is also a cold-weather favorite for me.

This dish is called ragda patties where I come from, ragda being the spicy curry ("ragda" comes from the word for "churned" reflecting the way you vigorously stir the curry to blend the flavors). The word "patties" means, well, the potato patties but the word is pronounced "pattice" (rhyming with "lattice") for some strange reason! Versions of this dish are popular all over India, and the North Indian version is called aloo tikki chaat.

In the kitchen, this is one dish that is a snap to make. It is actually one of the very first dishes I ever tried to make as a teenager in my aunt's kitchen in the Western suburbs of Bombay.

It is also one of the few street foods that I have actually eaten on the street. Most Bombay street vendors are not exactly winning awards for hygienic food prep, and many Indian parents will warn their kids to NEVER eat at street stalls, no matter how tempting the food. The fear did keep me in line for the most part, so much of the street food I have eaten was in fact enjoyed in small "proper" restaurants. But a block away from my college is a row of street food vendors who have been there for so long that the stalls are coverted to semi-storefronts. Well, based on that little technicality, a friend and I would troop over once in a while and enjoy the ragda-patties, a steal at Rs. 10 a plate (US $0.25 or so). Our argument was also that this dish is well cooked and fried thus making killing whatever may be lurking in there. Safer or not, I lived to tell the tale and dish the dish :) Still, don't go telling my mom!

My version of ragda patties is very easy to make together as an almost-one-dish meal. In the patty-curry combination, one can make a spicy patty and serve it with a less-spicy curry or the other way around. Or one can make both components spicy to make it a really fiery dish. I usually make the patties very plain and the curry quite spicy. This is a good dish to make if you have a bunch of eaters with differing tolerance for spice. The patties can be eaten just by themselves or dipped into tamarind chutney. Kids also devour these little patties, I remember my friends' twin girls loved them the last time I made these.

I add some bread to the patty mixture to help hold it together better. This is optional. For me, it is one way to use up odd bits of bread. I stick them in the freezer and thaw them out when I am making patties.

As for the tamarind chutney that is used as a topping, it can be home-made or store-bought. A bottle of store-bought tamarind chutney is a condiment that is always found in my fridge, but if anyone would like a recipe, just ask!

Ragda Patties
(serves 3-4 as a main dish)


For Patties
4 large or 6 medium potatoes, boiled
2 slices bread
salt to taste
oil for shallow frying

For Ragda
1 cup white vatana (dried whole yellow peas)
1 small onion, minced
1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
12 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. red chilli powder
12 tsp. cumin powder
12 tsp. coriander powder
1 tbsp. jaggery
1 tbsp. tamarind paste
salt to taste
1 tbsp. oil

For Garnish
Tamarind chutney
Minced onion
Minced cilantro
Whipped yogurt


  1. Soak the peas overnight, then cook them on the stove-top or pressure cooker till fully cooked.
  2. To make the ragda, heat oil and saute the onion for a few minutes till transluscent. Add the ginger-garlic paste and saute for a minute more. Add salt, turmeric, chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and saute for a few seconds till spices are aromatic. Then add the cooked peas, 2 cups water, tamarind and jaggery. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Mash some of the peas to make the curry thicker if needed. Taste the curry and adjust the balance of sweet/sour/salty. Set ragda aside.
  3. To make patties, dip the bread slices in warm water, then squeeze out excess water and place in a bowl. Add boiled potatoes and salt, then knead everything together to mix well. Form patties with the potato mixture. Then shallow fry the patties in a small amount of oil and drain on paper towels. 
  4. To assemble, place 2 patties on a plate. Top with a ladleful of peas curry. Then garnish with dollops of tamarind chutney, minced onion, cilantro and sev and yogurt if desired.

Enjoy the explosion of flavors!


  1. I'm so glad I found your blog, its just terrific. So tell me, what brand of tamarind chutney do you buy AND what is jaggery? Will they have it at any well stocked Indian market? (Im going to blush if its just parsley or onion or something...LOL)

    I am always on the hunt for new and delicious recipes, and this fits the bill! Thanks so much!

  2. Ragda patties looking yummy, Nupur.
    Except for jaggery and tamarind, I make them the sameway.:)

  3. that looks so good and inviting. :)

  4. Your ragda pattice looks so tasty. I make the patties with a little semolina for binding. Those vatana peas taste great when made into ragda (we call the sauce ghugni). I always thought aloo tikki was served with channa...

  5. Yesterday I was wondering what I should do with a small bag of potatoes, and today your ragda recipe appears. Now I know.

    I have a lot of experience with the legume/lentil/dal/pulse aisle at the Indian market, but don't remember seeing anything called "vatana." Is it possible that they could have a alternate name?

  6. Hmm now i have to have ragda pattis :) A lot of my friends modify apple butter to taste like khajur imli ki chutney and it does taste good. You just need to add some spices to it ..maybe chilli and hing . Also i think adding a little bit of mint or coriander to the patties would give it a nice zing.

  7. Hi Nupur,
    I love Indian food but I'm just about learning to cook it.(I come from the part of the world where this fantastic cuisine is still not very common and known) But I found your great blog and will return many times for "cooking courses"
    Zsofi from Hungary (living in Belgium)

  8. Hi Rachael, thanks for stopping by! I buy the "swad" brand of tamarind chutney but they really are pretty much the same.
    jaggery/ gul/gud is the name for Indian-style brown (unrefined) sugar. It is used as a sweetening agent in many desserts and to add a sweetish hint to savory foods. yes, you can definitely find it in Indian stores in blocks (I usually just hack these into small bits for use). You can substitute regular sugar or brown sugar for jaggery...its just that jaggery has this earthy unrefined taste that is quite distinctive. Hope this helps!

    Hi Indira, its true...the "proper" way to make it does not call for jaggery or tamarind in the curry...but I cheat and do that for two reasons: the curry is more flavorful to eat bu itself if there are leftovers, and also then you need less tamarind chutney as garnish :)

    Hi Bilbo, thanks :)

    Hi Mika, addition of semolina is a great idea! and you are right, aloo tikki IS with chana...I meant that it falls in the general genre of potato patties served with dal curry :)

    Hi Marc, hope this works out for you! here is a link to what vatana/whole yellow peas look like:
    I cannot recall if the package could have another name...but I am sure that if you walked into an Indian grocery and asked for help finding "white vatana" they could help you.
    I think you could subtitute chickpeas in this recipe for a comparable taste.

    Hi Roshni, adapting applesauce...hmmm, what a clever idea! thanks for sharing that! and you are right, the patties would be great with fresh herbs.

    Hi Zsofi, thanks for stopping by! I cannot claim to know enough to teach you :) but I am so glad you like Indian food.
    Most of my recipes call for ingredients that are available in Indian stores, which are easily found in the US but may be hard to find elsewhere. Don't hesitate to contact me if you would like me to suggest substitutions for some of these is possible in many cases to get around them.

  9. Hi Nupur,
    Your anecdotes are a lovely prelude to the wonderful recipes. Need I say, those patties look delectable! Btw, is vatana the dal that besan is made of?


  10. Nupur, I'm gonna make these tomorrow when my English sis-in-law comes over - she's vegetarian and LOVES hot spicy Indian food! :) That makes two of us!

  11. hi nupur, i am rather nostalgic about our stints at making various chaats in my kitchen. i miss you and all the fun we had then.its wonderful that you still carry on with much enthusiasm....all the best. love, yoma.

  12. Thanks for the recipe, Nupur - it was a smash hit with my S-i-L... she took home the extra patties for her lunch the next day! :)

  13. Wow, this blog is awesome. I am going to have start trying to cook some of this at home as well. :)

  14. This looks wonderful, I am always seeking to try new recipes and enjoy new tastes.

  15. This I HAVE to try out !!!


  16. Hi Nupur, have to say , great job with your blog.! I am new to blogging but you have inspired me to start a blog of my own 

    Just to add to an earlier comment by roshni, the tamarind chutney can be made using apple butter - this is very cost effective & tastes great too.
    1 cup apple butter
    2 table spoons tamarind paste concentrate ( add more if you want to make this more tart)
    1 tablespoon chaat masala ( for ex- MDH)

    Add around 1/3 cup water to the tamarind concentrate & microwave for around 30 seconds. Stir well to make sure the tamarind mixture is lump free. Add this to the apple butter along with chaat masala.

    Of course, the above recipe works well for my tastes but you might have to experiment till you get what works for you.

  17. Hi,
    I think ur recipe is gr8 ....have referred it to a couple of my friends as well in Lagos, Nigeria..coz that is where I live....thanks once more...


  18. I'm so happy to find your blog. I found you looking for a tamarind chutney recipe. I see that you use apple butter. This is so different from any other recipe online. I made it from tamarind paste, many spices, sugar and water on the stove tonight and it took forever to cook into a syrup (but the chocolate-brown color is NOT what it looks like at most restaurants). We are Indian Food lovers, so I was wondering what makes it "pink/red" colored at the restaurants and yet brown/black when you cook it from scratch? Also... WHAT BRAND of store-bought chutney do you use? I tried some recently that was very waxy tasting. YUCK. My friend that was visiting who also loves Indian Foods liked it, so I gave her the bottle. I'm not sure of the brand it was. I look forward to browsing your archives for recipes. I don't have apple butter, but I guess I could go get some if you really recommend that it will taste like the restaurant version! I have a small bottle of the tamarind paste that I got today. Do you keep it in the fridge? How long will it last? Sorry for all the questions.

    Thanks so much!

    I have a recipe blog and a regular blog... the recipe one is:

  19. Hi Sprittibee, nope, I don't use apple butter...that was a tip given in the comments by another reader.
    When I make tamarind chutney from scratch, I use dates in it. This helps to sweeten it and also gives it that thick wonderful texture.
    I don't remember chutney being red/pink in restaurants far as I know it is always a dark shade of brown.
    I use "swad" brand of store-bought chutney. It is all right, not wonderful but I make do. It lastes forever in the fridge.
    I buy "tamicon" brand of tamarind paste...comes in plastic tubs that last forever in the fridge.
    Hope this helps a bit! Ask as many questions as you like :) I will try my best to answer them.

  20. Hey Nupur,

    Your experiences with ur friend make me nostalgic too though i wasnt so cautious as u and we (my friends n me with my sis) we still eat out whenever I go to India...and that too inspite of my mom telling me not to...

    hey i have a suggestion for u busy guys out there...when i was at a party i saw my friend had made many dishes and 1 of them being ragda patties...n she had substituted hash browns (potato patties made for breakfast by Americans alongwith other things)
    for the patties as she had lil time on her hands and many things to an alternative u can make the chutney or ragda spicier to compensate....I think that's brilliant for "fatafat chaat" ...wot do you think??
    Btw your blogspace is great...keep writing abt ur college days...feels good...

  21. Great recipe. I am making it again. I have ran into a problem last time. The vatanas never became soft even after soaking it overnight and pressure cooking them for 10 minute whistling. Now I will pressure cook them for 30 minutes. That should be suuficient time to even cook leather shoes!

  22. Great recipe..just tried to you on my blog...thanks for a lovely recipe my friend...really enjoyed it

  23. I tried the ragda patties and it turned out just yummy. My family enjoyed every bite of it and i got a lot of praise. Thank You.

  24. hi,
    whenever im in desperate need of a recipe(and thats fairly often),i search your archives.
    made these ragda patties from your recipe as my husband was begging me for a long time.
    the only difference...
    i made them on our anniversary,so i made the patties heart-shaped.
    they didnt have that wonderful golden brown because i used hardly any oil(my husband has high cholesterol)
    but they turned out superb.
    thanks a lot

  25. kd...newbie, how cute to make the patties heart-shaped! Happy anniversary to you and your husband :) thank you for the feedback!

  26. Hey Nupur,
    I love your blog. Just tried out 'ragda patties' turned out great. I loved your recipe. yum...i over ate :).Thank you very much for great recipes. did some change to parries tho added crushed frozen peas( crushed after roasting a bit on little oil). instead of bread. with little bit of gignger paste.


  27. Hash Browns is a good idea, I tend to use potato croquettes if i am running short of time.

  28. Nupur, it looks like you picture is copied here. Have a look. Viji

  29. Hi Nupur,
    I am a regular reader of this blog. Might have left comments couple of times too.:-) I tried this over the long weekend. And it came out delicious. This is one of our favourites. Even my 5 year and 2 year old ate it !! That was a pleasant surprise for me. Anything that is eaten by my kids is the best in our home:-) :-)

  30. Nupur,
    Made your patties and we enjoyed them.
    Posted about it at


  31. oh it yumm....well want to try out something fun for dinner tonight abnd this seems to be it(hope hubby likes it)
    will let you know later how hit/flop it went


    Nupur, Check the above link. Looks similar to your posting. I hope someone dint steal your picture.

    Take care

  33. SuneetaDevisettiJune 10, 2009 7:41 PM

    I tried this recipe, it was really good. My husband and kids loved it. My son enjoyed it so much.

  34. ur recipe looks lovely Nupur. i am gooing to try it soooooooooooooon.......2 things to ask -
    - Can u tell me how much time it will take to pressure cook vatana(soaked overnight) (i have green color vatana- whole).
    - Can u share home made tamarind chutney recipe with us.
    Thanx in advance.


  35. Even i have dried green peas. Can i still make this dish and how much the taste will differ. plz answer. thx

  36. we enjoyed this lovely ragda recipe. Thanks a lot Nupur. I didn't make the patties yet. The ragda was so quick to make and very authentic. I have always tried recipes with tomato, ginger garlic paste and they naturally fell into kurma category.

  37. Nupur,
    Thanks for the fantastic recipe! I've made this a couple of times now using your recipe- the only change I make is that I substitute the yellow peas with garbanzo beans for now; my pantry has no room for yet another legume!

    Thank you so much!

  38. Nupur

    I am student at Missouri, Rolla and was craving Bombay street food. Its brilliant how I found this website. Thanks thanks for bringing back a part of Bombay to me... :)



  39. tried this out today! Was an instant hit! thanks! :)

  40. Any idea how long it would take to boil the peas if I don't have a pressure cooker?

  41. Hi Nupur, have to say , great job with your blog.! I am new to blogging but you have inspired me to start a blog of my own 

    Just to add to an earlier comment by roshni & Anu, my husband can't eat tamarind so I make the chutney using apple butter & Lemon Juice
    1 cup apple butter
    Lemon Juice 3-4 Tbsp (add more if you want to make this more tart)
    1 tsp red chilli power
    1/2 tsp dhana jeera powder
    2 tsp salt (again as per your requirement)

    Mix all together and you have a sweet chutney.

  42. Hello Nupur,

    Beautiful website! Quick questions, can I use U.S measurements for your recipes?

    Please advise. Thank you!

  43. Hi!

    Have been following your blog for a while. Am now leaving a comment cos I made the ragada patties last night and they were the best!! The taste and flavors were absolutely bang on. My daughter was eating katori-fulls of the ragada even as I was making it. Very simple and authentic recipe. Thanks a lot.


  44. Made this today. LOVED it!

  45. Hi Nupur what if i use actual green peas instead of the yellow..have never particularly like the yellow peas taste?

    1. It would be different from the typical way this dish is made but I predict it would be very tasty. Try it and see.

  46. i made this tonight for dinner... awesome it was... will post it soon on the blog

  47. Hi Nupur,

    I've made these using your recipe before, and they were delish! I can no longer eat gluten, though. Can you suggest something I can use instead of bread? I tried making without altogether, and my patties fell apart. Me thinks there must be a suitable gf substitute out there. Would love suggestions from you.


    1. Maya- I've made patties many times without bread. I wonder why they're falling apart when you try it. Here are some things you could try: (1) a stickier variety of potato like Yukon gold, (2) Adding a GF flour like quinoa flour, (3) GF breadcrumbs (available in specialty stores), (4) crushed up rice or corn cereal or GF crackers. Good luck!

  48. Really It is soo delicious. I enjoyed ragda pattica very much. may u post some healthy nd delicious food for me. thanks for such a tasty recipe.


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