• erin

    Dumplings with my family
    A recent graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, I found myself with no money, no kitchen equipment, and an exceptionally huge appetite. Ideas, improvisations, and yummy meal solutions were discovered in the kitchen of my very first apartment.
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Ragada (Potato Cakes with Spicy Chickpea Sauce)

I used to be a slave to my favorite restaurants. Sure, I love to try new things, but I am the queen of cravings. This meant that if I went to one of my favorite eateries, I would stumble to the counter or to the table and beg for that must-have dish. I couldn’t NOT order it. Since I’ve started cooking at home, I’ve attempted to create several of my favorites (which sometimes end up even better because I can cook them how I want them).

Ragada is a dish Matt and I disocvered by accident. I was doing a restaurant review for a local newspaper, and was sent to a nearby Indian restaurant. Matt and I are Indian food junkies, but I made him promise to order new things so that I could do an accurate review. We chose Ragada (a dish with a cryptic description as “A Calcutta Favorite”). The dish was simple: pan fried spiced potato cakes with a super spicy chickpea sauce. We went back again and again for the ragada – it was so delicious.

Finally, I decided to make it at home. I feared this one wouldn’t live up to the Ragada we’d become addicted to. But, I was able to tweak it so that I even fixed my one criticism of the dish (I think it suffers from a lack of texture without panfrying the cakes until they are quite crisp and using raw garnish). I could see it on Matt’s face: I’d hit the nail on the head. Now we can be Ragada addicts from the comfort of our own home.

Ragada (Potato Cakes with Spicy Chickpea Sauce)

Serves 4.

Leftover Potential: The cakes may lose some of their crispness, but this makes a great lunch the next day.

Potato Cakes:

2 large potatoes, peeled, diced

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp garam masala

salt, as needed

1/3 cup bread crumbs

oil, as needed for frying

1. Place the potatoes in a medium pot. Cover with water by 2 inches, season with salt, and bring to a boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20-30 minutes.

2. Drain the potatoes and transfer them to a large bowl. Mash them until mostly smooth.

3. Season the potatoes with spices and salt. Add the bread crumbs, and mix to combine.

4. Form the potato mixture into patties and set aside. In a large skillet, heat about 1/4″ of oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the cakes and saute until they are golden brown and crisp on the outside, about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove from pan and keep warm.


2 Tbsp oil

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeno, minced

2 tsp ginger, minced

2 Tbsp red curry paste

2 Tbsp garam masala

2 tsp turmeric

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

pinch cayenne pepper

1 cup crushed tomatoes

2 1/2 cups chickpeas, cooked (one 14 oz can works fine)

1/2 cup Greek Yogurt

2 Tbsp cilantro, roughly chopped

salt, to taste

1/2 cup red onions, minced

1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, jalapeno, and ginger, and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.

2. Add the curry paste and spices, and stir until they are slightly toasted, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer until slightly reduced and thick, about 8-10 minutes.

3. Stir in the chickpeas, yogurt, and cilantro, and stir until heated through. Season with salt.

4. Place two potato cakes onto a plate, and cover with chickpea sauce. Garnish with raw red onions and cilantro to taste.


One Response

  1. Chickpeas and red curry are two of my favorites. I love Indian food, but I have trouble making it at home, I can’t wait to try this. It was so great to meet you last week!

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