The festival of Makar Sakranti and Batata Wada/Aloo Kofta

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Makar Sakrati is big in my home town,actually Huge! There is excitement in the air almost a fortnight prior to the festival. On January 14th every year, the Jaipur sky is dotted with colourful kites and their arrival is announced by loud music from every rooftop right from 5 AM in the morning. Sunglasses clad eyes and band-aid clad fingers are seen on every roof top! It is a lovely time of the year. Miss you Jaipur!

Colloquially referred to as Sakrat, it is a day made for feasting on snacks- the fried variety. Large batches are fried and sent to the roof and empty serving plates keep coming back to the kitchen for refills along with jugs of lassi and chaach! There are pakodas/bhajiya, samosas, kachoris, and then the much loved Batata Wada/aloo kofta.

Call it Batata Wada, Aloo Bonda or Kofta, it is as yum! Garlicky and spicy potato masala dipped in gram flour batter and deep fried, what is not to love!
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To make about 20 Aloo Koftas you need

For the Filling
4 large potatoes, boiled peeled and mashed
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 tsp fine chopped green chilli
1 tsp grated ginger
1 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 Tbsp oil
½ tsp heeng/asafoetida
1 tsp mustard/rai
4-5 curry leaves
1 tsp salt
½ tsp red chilli powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp mango powder/aamchoor
1 Tbsp oil

Heat the oil and add heeng and rai. Once the rai crackles, add the curry leaves,ginger,garlic,green chilli and onions.

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Add salt, chilli powder, turmeric and mango powder when the onions turn brown.
Add the mashed potatoes and mix well.

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Take off the heat and add coriander.
Let cool and make small balls.
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For the batter
Besan/chick pea flour-  1 cup
Minced garlic- 1 tbsp (or less if you find it too pungent)
Water- ¾ cup (add slowly to make a medium thick batter)
Salt- 1 tsp
Red chilli powder- ½ tsp (or less as per taste)
Turmeric  (Haldi)-  1 fat pinch
Mango Powder (Aamchoor)- ¼ tsp
Garam Masala- ¼ tsp
Green chillies,chopped fine- 1 tsp
Fresh coriander, chopped fine- 1 Tbsp

Mix all and slowly add water to make a medium thick batter.
Mix well with a balloon whisk.

Dip the potato balls in the batter and deep fry.
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Serve hot with coriander chutney.

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Stuff into pav with some chutney to enjoy Bombay style Wada Pav!

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