Vatana Batata Rassa Bhaji | Maharashtrian Dried Peas Potato Gravy

Vatana Batata Rassa Bhaji is a delicious Maharashtrian dish made with peas and potatoes. The vibrant, flavorful, spicy, and tasty gravy is perfect for serving with hot steamed rice, Indian bread, or pav.

Translating to English, it means;
Vatana: Peas (dried or fresh)
Batata: Potato
Rassa: Thin gravy

Dried peas are one of my favorite legumes. I have already shared a recipe for Dried Yellow Peas Curry but that is a different style. This spicy dry peas potato curry is a typical Maharashtrian-style gravy.

vatana batata rassa bhaji

About Vatana Batata Rassa Bhaji Recipe

Vatana Batata Rassa Bhaji Recipe is a Maharashtrian style where potatoes and cooked peas are simmered in an onion-tomato-coconut-based gravy along with a blend of Indian spices.

The base of this curry is made with onions, ginger, garlic, spices, and a special paste. To make this easy and simple curry, we first make a fine paste. 

This paste is popularly known as “vaatan” or “Khobra Vatatan/Coconut Paste” and is often used in Maharashtrian cooking. This vatan adds a distinct flavor and texture to the gravy.

I would describe Vatana batata rassa bhaji as a home-style curry meaning a simple everyday kind of curry that is made in almost every Maharashtrian household with little variations depending upon region to region..

The curry is often served as a side dish in a thali or as a main course dish with Indian bread, bhakri, or bhakri (a type of gluten-free bread).

This Maharashtrian-style peas potato curry is spiced with a burst of flavors.

I soak the dried peas for 6-8 hours and pre-cook them before adding them to the gravy.

Reasons to try

Easy to make.

Spicy and Flavorful.

Serve as a side dish or main course.

Perfect for lunchbox.

Apt for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Vegan & Gluten-free

Pro Tips

1. Soak and pre-cook the dried peas: Dried peas take more time to cook compared to potatoes. So they need to be soaked and pre-cooked.

2. Customize the spices: Adjust the quantity of the spices according to your preference.

3. Cook the ingredients well: It is a crucial step in preparing any Maharashtrian dish. It gets rid of the raw taste of the ingredients. It also enhances the flavors of spices creating a flavorful base for the curry.

4. Simmer the curry: Simmer the curry for a good 15-20 minutes. The slow cooking process allows the potatoes and peas to absorb the flavors.

5. Gravy consistency: I prefer a semi-thick consistency that is between a thick and thin/watery consistency. It makes perfect to pair with rice and roti.

Ingredients

Peas and Potatoes: I have used dried white peas in this recipe. You can use dried green peas or fresh peas too.

Oil: I have used vegetable oil in this recipe.

For Masala Paste (Vaatan): dry coconut, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds.

Spices: turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, and garam masala.

Tempering: mustard seeds, cumin, and curry leaves.

Onion and Tomato: form the base of the curry.

Seasoning: salt.

Garnishing: coriander leaves.

How to make Vatana Batata Rassa Bhaji (step-by-step)

1. Take the measured quantity of dried white peas in a bowl and rinse it well. Soak them for at least 6-8 hours or overnight in sufficient water.

2. Drain the water and add the soaked peas and a pinch of turmeric powder to the pressure cooker. Add enough fresh water, the water level should be about 1-2 inches above the peas.

3. Securely close the lid of the cooker and cook over medium-high flame for 3-4 whistles or until the peas are tender

Note: Cooking time may vary depending on the type of pressure cooker and the age of the peas.

4. Check for doneness. If they are still slightly firm, you can close the lid and cook for an additional few whistles.

5. Heat oil in a pan or kadai over medium flame. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and cumin. Let them crackle.

6. Add curry leaves and saute until they turn crisp.

7. Add the finely chopped onions and saute until they turn a light brown color.

Meanwhile, make the paste. Grind dry coconut, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds into a smooth paste.

8. Add tomato puree. Saute until the moisture evaporates completely and the oil separates at the sides of the pan.

Note: Stir frequently for even cooking.

9. Once the moisture has reduced, add turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt, and coriander powder. Saute for 30 seconds.

10. Add chopped potatoes and saute stirring continuously for a minute.

11. Add the coconut paste and saute for 1-2 minutes.

Note: It is to get rid of the raw flavor.

12. Add pre-cooked peas and mix well with the masala.

Note: Ensure the peas are well-coated with the masala.

13. Add hot water to the level of veggies. Mix well and let the gravy come to a boil. Taste test and add salt and spice, if needed.

Note: Add hot water. It maintains the temperature of the pan and oil floats on the top.

14. Once there is a boil, then reduce the heat and cover the pan. Simmer on low heat until the potatoes are tender and the flavors are well absorbed.

15. Adjust the water quantity based on your desired consistency. Add garam masala and continue to simmer for 1-2 minutes.

16. Add coriander leaves and give a final mix.

17. Vatana Batata Rassa Bhaji is ready. Serve it hot with a choice of rice or bread.

Serving Suggestions

Vatana Batata Rassa Bhaji, a flavorful, spicy, and aromatic curry pairs well with:

Rice: Plain steamed rice and flavored rice such as jeera rice, mildly spiced veg pulao, or bagara rice.

Flatbread: phulka, poli (chapati), plain paratha, or bhakri (a gluten-free bread) made with jowar, rice, bajra, or ragi flour.

Poori: The curry also pairs well with puri.

Pav (bread rolls): It’s a popular and delicious Maharashtrian way to relish this curry.

Storage Suggestions

If consuming the curry on the same day, it can be kept at room temperature.

To consume within 2-3 days, refrigerate the curry in an airtight container. Reheat the curry before serving. The curry tastes better the next day. The resting period enables the spices to mature and leads to more intense flavors enhancing the overall taste profile.

Avoid freezing the curry as it alters the taste.

More Related Recipes

Drumstick Potato Curry

Anda Rassa

Capsicum Masala Gravy

Bharli Vangi

Drumstick Recipe with Potatoes

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Recipe Card

Vatana Batata Rassa Bhaji | Maharashtrian Dry Peas Potato Gravy

Author: Santosh Allada
Vatana Batata Rassa Bhaji is a simple Maharashtrian curry made with dried white peas and potatoes simmered in a spicy onion-tomato-coconut-based gravy. The spicy and flavorful curry pairs well with rice, roti, or pav.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Soaking Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Maharashtrian
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup Dried Peas (safed vatana)
  • 2 medium Potatoes
  • 1/4 cup Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 6-8 numbers Curry leaves
  • 2 medium Onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 medium Tomatoes (grind to a fine puree)
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Red Chili powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 2-3 tbsp Coriander leaves
  • 1.5-2 cups Water (hot)
  • Salt (to taste)

Coconut Paste

  • 3 tbsp Coconut (dry or fresh)
  • 1/2 tbsp Sesame seeds
  • 1/4 tbsp Poppy seeds
  • 6-7 cloves Garlic
  • 1 inch Ginger

Instructions
 

Soak and Cook the Dry Peas

  • Take the measured quantity of dried white peas in a bowl and rinse it well. Soak them for at least 6-8 hours or overnight in sufficient water.
  • Drain the water and add the soaked peas and a pinch of turmeric powder to the pressure cooker. Add enough fresh water, the water level should be about 1-2 inches above the peas.
  • Securely close the lid of the cooker and cook over medium-high flame for 3-4 whistles or until the peas are tender.
  • Check for doneness. If they are still slightly firm, you can close the lid and cook for an additional few whistles.

Make the Paste

  • Add dry coconut, sesame seeds, ginger, garlic, and poppy seeds to a chutney (small) jar. Grind it to a smooth paste by adding water gradually.

Vatana Batata Bhaji

  • Heat oil in a pan or kadai over medium flame. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and cumin. Let them crackle.
  • Add curry leaves and saute until they turn crisp.
  • Add the finely chopped onions and saute until they turn a light brown color.
  • Add tomato puree. Saute until the moisture evaporates completely and the oil separates at the sides of the pan.
  • Once the moisture has reduced, add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, and salt. Saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add chopped potatoes and saute stirring continuously for a minute.
  • Add the coconut paste and saute for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add pre-cooked peas and mix well with the masala. Ensure the peas are well-coated with the masala.
  • Add hot water to the level of veggies. Mix well and let the gravy come to a boil. Taste test and add salt and spice, if needed.
  • Once there is a boil, then reduce the heat and cover the pan. Simmer on low heat until the potatoes are tender and the flavors are well absorbed.
  • Adjust the water quantity based on your desired consistency. Add garam masala and continue to simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add coriander leaves and give a final mix. Turn off the flame.
  • Vatana Batata Rassa Bhaji is ready. Serve it hot with a choice of rice or bread.

Notes

The quantity of dry peas is more than potatoes.
Tomato puree gives a smooth texture to the gravy.
Vatana Batata bhaji tastes great when prepared with a semi-thick gravy. However, adjust the consistency as per your preference.
You can experiment with readymade spices like pav bhaji masala, kitchen king masala, chole masala, or meat masala powder. Add any in a small quantity.


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