Batata Vada in Appe Pan (Not deep Fried)

I am in love! With my appe pan. This simple pan has changed the way tea time snacks are prepared in my house. My first experiment dahi vada was very successful. No one could tell the difference. That gave me a lot of confidence to experiment with other deep fried snacks. I tried dal vada, paneer kofta and a variety of other foods that I did not photograph or blog about. Over time I have gotten better at using the pan which is not surprising since I use it so often. I have better judgment of the size and shape of the food I cook in it. I am also better able to end up with perfect rounds instead of flat discs. By the time I made sabudana vada I knew I could make anything in this pan. Batata vada is my newest experiment.

The best part about using this pan is that I use a fraction of the oil that would otherwise be needed. Oil is mainly fat and fat is good for you in moderation, in fact fat is needed. However, the main problem with deep frying foods is not the oil itself but the effect it has on the nutrients in the food being fried. Science is all over the place on this one so I decided to stop deep frying foods and instead get the fat from other sources. While baking is a natural alternative some recipes do not do well when baked. And so I am in love with this pan. It allows me to enjoy a whole variety of snacks that I stopped making when I stopped deep frying foods.

Batata vada was one such snack. I loved it as a child - the crisp coating and the soft potato filling inside. My mother made the best vadas and she made them as starters frequently when we had guests over. Even though I helped her umpteen times with the preparation I cannot recollect her recipe. I do remember burning my fingers in the oil when I accidentally went too low while dropping the vadas in the oil.

Batata vada at its simplest is mashed spiced up potato rolled into balls, dipped in gram flour (besan) batter and deep fried. The vadas I made follow the traditional recipe except they are cooked in the appe pan with a few drops of oil. They taste just as good!

You will need (for 6 vadas)
For the filling
1 large Russet potato
3 springs cilantro, diced (I ran out so I did not add any)
1 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. cumin seeds
5-6 curry leaves
1 tbsp. channa dal (bengal gram split dal)
1 green chili pepper
1/4 tsp. asafoetida
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. red chilli pepper powder
salt to taste

For the batter
1/4 cup besan or bengal gram flour
1 tsp. red chilli pepper powder
salt to taste

Wash the russet potato to remove all the dirt. Prick with a fork all over and place it in the microwave with a cup filled about 3/4 of the way with water. Cook the potato for 2 minutes, turn over and cook again for 2 minutes. Repeat until the potato is done. Wrap in aluminium foil and keep aside for 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile in a small pan heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. When they crackle add the cumin seeds, curry leaves, channa dal and the chili pepper broken into a couple of pieces. Add the asafoetida and turmeric powder and take it off the heat. Keep aside to cool.

Remove from foil, peel and discard the skin and place it in a bowl. Mash the potato and add the cilantro. Add the oil, mustard mixture, the sugar, red chilli pepper powder and salt to taste. Combine everything together without kneading and form into lemon sized balls. Keep aside.

Whisk the ingredients for the batter with a little water to get a thick batter.

Heat the appe pan and add a few drops of oil in each well. Drop the mashed potato balls into each of the wells and let them cook on mediun high heat.

Turn them over using a knitting needle or skewer.

Cook evenly on all sides.

When done take it off heat and enjoy it while it is hot with chutney or ketchup.


  1. I love these vadas too..and the non fried version is awesome. .even I make them in this pan..and yes the next time I make these I will add chana daal..which I normally don't.

  2. I can have couple of them rite now.. Such a guilt free snacks.

  3. So beautifully done Varada. Wonderful that you have replaced all your deep fried ones with this method..I guess this works out even better in Vada pav right, were don't even realize if the vada is deep fried or not..:)

  4. I love batata vada its my all time fav and this healthy way of making batata vada is surely tempting me :) guilt free way to have them , loving it !!

  5. Wow drooling over the them..they look perfect out of the appe pan and healthy too!

  6. I have made the exact recipe in the appe pan few months ago and loved how good they turn out.

  7. that pan is definitely not collecting dust in your house :)

  8. I love using my ape pan too. Its much healthier version than the deep fried one. Looks very tempting. Jayanthi(

  9. Though I've used this pans for koftas, I've never ventured into using it for urad/batata vada. Your post makes me want to try that out too.

  10. Can you please tell me the brand of your appe pan and where did you bught it from..I need one which works on induction hot plates..

    1. I have a cast aluminium pan. Some of my friends have used cast iron pans. Not sure which one will work on induction hot plates.


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