When I first came to Bombay, I thought Ragda Patties (aka pattice) are just another name for aloo tikki. A couple of tastes later, I knew these two were not even from the same planet. If you are ever confused like me, here's a guide to ragda patties for dummies.
Aloo Tikki: A flat potato cutlet shallow fried on a griddle. Served topped with green mint chutney, sweet tamarind chutney, yogurt and onions. Occasionally, a chickpea curry is served alongside the aloo tikkis instead of these toppings.
How Ragda Patties are different:
1. The potatoes in the aloo tikkis are white and bland. The ragda patties potatoes are a spicy yellow (they always add turmeric to fried potatoes in Bombay, even in batata vada).
2. Aloo tikkis have a spicy split pea filling (which is why the potatoes are bland). Ragda patties don't
3. Ragda patties come topped with a curry made from dried yellow peas (also called vatana) and with the chutneys. Its a heady combination.
One thing remains common though. Both are quintessential street food, something you eat at a roadside stall and almost never think of making at home. I know I won't. But my neighbourhood auntie did. This recipe (and my dinner) comes courtesy this super sweet auntie from Bombay. Its imprecise, but aren't all recipes when they come from our mothers and aunts.
The preperation for ragda patties starts the previous night if its lunch (or morning of the day its your dinner). Soak dried yellow peas overnight. Boil with salt and turmeric. Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and let splutter. Now add the boiled yellow peas and some garam masala. Add enough water to cover and simmer for a few minutes. Your ragda is done.
To make patties, boil potatoes and mash well. Soak a slice of white bread (crust removed) in water, mash well and add to the potatoes. Add salt, turmeric, red chilli powder, finely chopped ginger and chopped coriander. Shape into patties and fry on a griddle until brown on both sides.
To assemble, place two patties in a plate. Pour enough ragda to cover them. Add a tablespoon each of green chutney and tamarind chutney (she makes her own, but I would go and buy an Imli Sauce). Sprinke some chopped onions and top with some thin sev. This is the final yummy look.