58. kachri bateta
Street food from Mombasa
Some years ago kachri bateta was a very popular street food in Mombasa. These days we hardly see any of them around in town or at Lighthouse with their little glass covered cart. Now we find sausages and chips in these carts. Whenever we came to Mombasa for a holiday and stayed at Manju aunty’s house in Old Town, kachri bateta was our tea time treat. Back then we were served this on layers of old newspaper. Loved the tangy and crispy dish. The vendors made the potato curry pretty dry. A few weeks back I read in Coastweek that kachri bateta was also sold outside Naaz Cinema for moviegoers to have as a snack. Nowadays no kachri bateta and even Naaz Cinema is going to be demolished. 🙁 I make my own version of kachri bateta and it is quite popular with my friends and relatives, especially all those who do not live in Mombasa.
- Heat oil in a pan. Saute the garlic till it turns light pink.
- Add the chilli powder and fenugreek. Stir fry for a minute.
- Add the potatoes and salt. Mix.
- Add 1 cup of water. Cover the pan and cook the potatoes till they are done.
- Mash some of the potatoes.This helps to thicken the gravy a bit.
- Add the 3 cups of water, tomato puree and raw mango paste.Mix well.
- Cover the pan. Let the curry simmer over medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Adjust the taste of the curry according to your preference.
- Thick sev is made from chickpea flour. Its readily available in all Indian grocery stores or Indian sweet shops.
- Great dish to prepare ahead for parties and as a snack.
- Thick sev or ganthias or jadi sev is available readily in most indian shops or confectionery places.
- Make sure the curry is not too salty if you are going to use ready salted crisps.
- If you have any left over chutney, just grind it in a liquidizer or food processor with some fresh coriander, ginger , lemon juice and a bit of sugar to make a tasty chutney to use with other dishes.
- I usually grate raw mangoes when in season and store them in the freezer.
- The curry should be a bit watery as when crisps and sev are added, the mixture becomes slightly dry.