At least once a month I make bateta pawa as my lunch time snack. Sometimes I make makai pawa for a change. Bateta pawa reminds me to my cousins in Gujarat who often served this as a breakfast dish when I stayed with them. Last week, I ran out of potatoes so ended up using sweet potatoes instead. The result was a tasty snack. Sweet potatoes cook a lot quicker than normal potatoes so I had to make sure I didn’t over cook them.
- 2 small sweet potatoes
- 2 cups of flaked rice
- 1 small onion
- 1 cup mixed nuts – cashews, almonds and peanuts
- 2-3 green chilies
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp chili powder (optional)
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp sugar or sugar substitute
- 1 tbls lemon juice
- 2 tbls sunflower oil
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
1. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes into very small cubes. Soak them in lots of cold water to remove any starch. Dice the onions into small pieces and cut the green chilies lengthwise into two pieces.
2. Heat the oil and add in the cumin seeds. Once the seeds get a bit brown, add the nuts and most of the diced onions (save some for garnishing) to the oil. Now add the green chilies and spices such as salt, chili powder and turmeric to the mixture. Drain all the water from the sweet potatoes and add them to the mixture.
3. Cook this mixture on a medium flame until the sweet potatoes feel a bit soft. In the meantime, wash the flaked rice in cold water and drain them in a large colander or sieve. Don’t soak them too much as they can retain water and get soggy.
4. Once the potatoes are soft, add the flaked rice and mix using a fork. add the sugar and lemon juice. If the mixture feels too dry – add only a tablespoon of water – no more as this dish has to be dry but well cooked and spiced. Too much water can make it mushy. Once mixed, cook it on a low heat for 2-3 minutes and serve this dish hot with some sprinked onion pieces or chili powder. It tastes great with natural Greek style yogurt.
Running out of potatoes made me improvise and recreate a familiar recipe. The result was a new creation.
Have you ever had to improvise?
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