Recipe video: Batatyacha Kees or Indian Hash Brown Potatoes

Every Thursday (like many other Indians on many other days of the week), my staunchly non-vegetarian, whiskey-loving grandfather would decide to please the gods and fast. That only meant a day of carb-heavy, starchy, peanuty food all day.

A very  common breakfast on these occasions was Batatyacha Kees or what I like to call, Indian Hash Brown Potatoes. Amma would always make loads of this extra for us growing (horizontally) kids. It is quite heavy, given the fact that it is made from potatoes and peanuts. The cumin and chili add a nice zing but I love the crisp, chewy bits stuck to the bottom of the pan the best.

Perhaps I’m getting old, but I have begun realizing that old, traditional ways of treating food are getting lost in the maze of fancy new appliances. Through the My Jhola videos, I am trying to get some attention to traditional methods of cooking—in the Undhiyu video, I ground the masala on a traditional stone grinder and cooked it in a traditional brass pot; in this one, you’ll see the traditional winnowing fan. This beautiful piece of woven wicker is a common apparatus that is used in most Indian homes to clean grains and legumes. You should see women using it to a rhythm as they sing their way through an afternoon of household chores and still do a better job than most mechanized methods. I was taught by my grandma to use the winnowing fan, and I love the magic set of the paper-thin peanut skins flying away. Like fairy dust.

Here’s the recipe:

Batatyacha Kees (Grates Potatoes) or Indian Hash Brown Potatoes
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 4 large potatoes
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1-2 green chilies, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste
  • Cilantro to garnish
  • Grated coconut garnish
  • A wedge of lime


Method:

  1. Place the peanuts in a pan and toast until brown spots appear and they begin to pop. (You could also do this in the oven at about 200 degrees centigrade on the middle rack for about 10 mins.)
  2. Rub the peanuts with a kitchen towel or in a winnowing fan to remove the skins.
  3. Blow lightly over the skinned peanuts to get rid of the skins.
  4. Cool completely and pulse in a coffee grinder to a coarse powder.
  5. Peel and grate the potatoes as thickly as possible.
  6. Heat the ghee in a pan or wok. Add cumin seeds and chopped green chili.
  7. Top with the grated potatoes. Season with salt. Cover and cook until almost done (about 2-3 minutes.)
  8. Add the ground peanuts and sugar. Cover and cook completely (another minute).
  9. Serve with a garnish of cilantro and coconut and a wedge of lime on the side.

Comments (7)

  1. Anonymous February 5, 2012 at 11:17 am

    Lovely video and what a delightful 'fasting' treat! In today's times of pasta's and pizza's we've forgotten such simple yet soulful preparations. I agree with you that the traditional 'appliances' are still very efficient and should be brought back to the modern kitchen. The good old mortar-pestel, claypots, stone grinder, winnowing fan are all so valuable that I wonder why we let those go or keep them hidden somewhere. This batatyacha kees has brought back memories of an elaborate 'feast' 🙂 that it was a shame to call it a 'fast': shendanyachi amti, varicha bhaat, upasache thalipith, saboodana vada, batatyacha kees, fruit salad, masale dudh. 😀

    – Priti

  2. Swati Sapna February 6, 2012 at 3:46 am

    this is new to me! have never heard of a grated potato indian dish… but im a huge aloo lover, so gonna give this a try asap! love the fact that it has peanuts…

  3. Archana Chari February 9, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    This is similar to a rosti, more than a hashbrown. Am yet to watch the video – but will try this asap 🙂

  4. Saee Koranne-Khandekar February 13, 2012 at 5:39 am

    Archana, you're right! I was, however, trying to reach out to a primarily Indian audience that may/may not have heard of rosti. Hash browns are more common.

  5. Preeti February 21, 2012 at 3:52 am

    Love batatyacha kees Saee. Jhakas video as well…the best bit was when you used the sup….ah it's been ages since I did that!! Next thing in my shopping list.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *