Batata Songa is a popular dish from the Konkan region which is made with potato with red chillies and tamarind. Konkani curries are mostly a blend of fresh grated coconut, roasted red chilies and tamarind. The heat from the chilies is toned down by the sourness of the tamarind which makes the Batata songa delicious. Batata Songa also spelled as Batata song is a dry preparation dish made with potatoes that are cooked in spicy-tangy gravy which shall make your taste buds sing.
However a bit of roasted coriander seeds can be added to cool down the palate but is optional. Basically Konkan food is spicy but not really fiery hot. Coconut oil is used as their cooking medium or you could also use a good variety of extra virgin olive oil. Normally in most of the Konkani kitchens you will find that a week longs supply of whole red chillies is roasted, stored in airtight container and kept aside whereas other spices are roasted and ground as and when wanted.
Batata songa is a simple and easy to cook recipe with hardly few ingredients using onion and potato curry zinged in a concoction of chilly and tamarind. Generally the red chili and coriander seeds are roasted a bit in oil to enhance their flavors and aroma and then ground together in the mixie with tamarind paste adding little water if required.
The onions are sauté well until softened and then mixed with the ground paste, salt and potatoes. This mixture is cooked adding little water to a semi dry consistency until all ingredients are blended well and the potatoes are cooked. The batata songa is usually beautiful red color using the right dry red chilli. Konkan curries like the ghasshi, ambat and randayi etc have a wonderfully deep, inviting sunset color.
The actual secret of the color mainly lies on selecting the right red chili namely the Byadgi or Bedgi chilies. They are wrinkly, deep red chilies from the state of Karnataka and are important in most of the Karnataka cuisine. They are generally less spicy but have equally wonderful color.
For preparing this Konkani or Mangalorean dish, firstly boil potatoes to about 90 % and cut into desired size. Cut the onions into thin long slices and fry till they become translucent. Take another medium size onion and chop finely.
In a pan or kadai, add little cooking oil and fry the finely chopped onion till they turn golden brown. Now add the red chili powder, coriander-cumin powder and tamaraind pulp and salt and mix well for 2-3 minutes. Add potatoes and fry for 5-6 minutes then add the earlier fried onions and mix well.
Finally cover the pan with a lid and fry for another 5-10 minutes. Check the consistency and adjust accordingly. The Batata songa is ready to be served. This dish goes excellent with rice and dal or with rotis or chapattis.
Batata songa makes an excellent dish from the generally prepared potato fry or potato korma etc. Potatoes spiced with chili and tamarind gives an added zing and taste to any meal.
Do try this recipe and enjoy its flavors. Click on the below link for detailed recipe:
You can also make this same dish with a little variation adding mushrooms instead of potatoes. Potatoes are one of the favorite veggies of many. You can make a variety of dishes with potatoes like the batata sukhe, batata kut, bombil batata bhaji, batata chili fry, batata kosambri etc.