Spicy potato curry(Batate vaagu)

Sometimes I wonder, how little I knew about Konkani cuisine before I started this blog. The directions to new recipes come from different requests I get here. Batate vaagu is one such dish that I learnt recently, even though I had heard about it before.

Most of the Konkani dishes are known for their very bright red color and spicy taste. Now, few of you may wonder that you never saw the color in my pictures. Yes, I have reduced the heat a lot in my cooking and also the chilies available here (even though I use Byadagi chilies which are popular for their bright color) just make the dish spicy but don’t give that color.

Anyway, batate(potato) vaagu is a bright red colored dish. It is supposed to be quite spicy, may be thats the reason for the name – vaagu also means tiger, fierce like tiger (Okay, I know thats a PJ). There are more than one ways to make this dish. Here is what I tried yesterday. I served this as a side dish with rice and some dal.

2 cups boiled, peeled, chopped potatoes
1/2 cup tomato
6-7 red chilies
1 tbl spn fresh/frozen coconut
1 tea spn coriander seeds
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
4-5 curry leaves

Increase the number of chilies if your taste buds can tolerate it.

Heat a little oil, fry coriander seeds and red chilies. Grind with coconut.
Heat oil, add mustard. When they start popping, add curry leaves. Fry for a minute. Add ground paste, tomato and about 1/2 cup water. Cook till tomatoes softens a bit.
Add potatoes, salt. Cook for another 5mins. The consistency should be like a thick curry, I made it bit more thicker just to get a concentrated flavor. Serve as a side dish with rice or chapathi.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 20mins

25 thoughts on “Spicy potato curry(Batate vaagu)”

  1. I had never heard of this dish before..Thanx for sharing,looks very theek and yummy.. will try with chapatis sometime..

    Shilpa: Maya, We have many of my dad’s relatives in Kumta. Most of their cooking is very traditional Konkani style.So when I asked aayi about this, she said she has heard about this from them. I wish I could spend some time with them now to learn these all. I am sure 90% of our generation does not know about it.

  2. hi Shilpa,
    I also learnt konkani dishes after my marrige and thanks to blogs like urs, i learn more everyday. being a punjabi married to a goan has opened up a whole new world in cooking for me.

  3. Coconut in an aloo sabzi seems very very different. I think i am going to love this dish. I have written down the recipe and will be making it soon.
    Thank you for sharing.

    If you dont add the coconut, it is very similar to a bengali aloo dish. I will put that up soon. Called Aloo Poshto


  4. Shilpa..you are right.. u can count me in that ignorant 90% amchigeli! Batatya song, yes..but vaagu!!! Roaaaaaarrrr…maybe after eating all those chillies, one starts roaring..hehe..i shall try these with chapatis..seems simple..and three chillies are standard for 6 servings at my place! (cant take teek at all!)tks for posting!

  5. Hey,
    I just love Vaagu. Often make it with tingaLavare and batate combo. I add 1/2 tsp or more of hing powder into the oil too. Yeah..thats a lot of hing.

  6. Lovely curry…but I’m just rethinking the 6-7 chillies bit…my heat tolerance is embarrassingly low 🙂

    Shilpa: Sunita, the actual number to be used is much higher. I thought that would put my lounge on fire 😉

  7. Dear Shilpa,

    Vaagu is commonly prepared as a side dish during marriages in Mangalore.We make various types of “Vaagus”. Vaagu with cauliflower, vaagu with Tingalavare, Vaagu with rajma etc. During the festivals, when we can not use onion & garlic, then we prepare vaagu. Usually we use asafoetida along with the other ingredients as potato and other pulses supposed to generate lot of gas and flatulence. Thanks for the recipe with coconut.I usually prepare without coconut. The picture looks yummy.

  8. Hi!Shilpa,
    After reading your batatya vagu [ tiger] I was reminde of batatya song, with a lot of onions.My muther does not add curry leaves for the seasoning in stead adds asafotida [ hingu] and frys a lot of chopped onions. tomatoes are optional. It tastes yummy.

    Shilpa: Yes, I love batata song too. I have two versions (with onions) of it on the site, the third version(without onion) is coming up soon :).

  9. Shilpa, I have this Konkani recipe book by Jaya Shenoy and I learnt about vaagu from it….ya it really tastes yum…:)

  10. Hi Shilpa,

    Vaag looks yummy..makes me want to cook it immediately.We have it with shevai.I make it a bit gravy-ish so that it can be used as an accompaniment for shevai as well as idiyappam.Only variation in my vaag is I add lots of coriander leaves to it,it imparts a very good flavour to the curry.Keep blogging!!!


  11. Hi,
    Batata vaag is fantastic.Instead of frying coriander seeds,they can be added fresh while grinding the coconut masala, along with tamarind and byadagi chillies and grind into a very fine paste.Tomatoes are not required in this case.

  12. Batata song and batata vaag were some of my favorite dishes growing up. My mom made them without tomato and coconut with lots of hing, urad dal, chillies and mustard seeds. I guess it is a Mangalore dish since my father grew up in Mangalore. Really good and simple to make.

  13. Hi Shilpa,

    Your aloo potato curry was 2 good. My children enjoyed it. Thanks for the wonderful recipe. I am giving you a pudding recipe which is excellent. Pls try it out.

    Grate 1 coconut and extract the milk. Then soak 6 slices of Britannia bread, add crushed cake (any type of cake i.e. 1 small bar), cashewnuts coarsely powdered (3 tbsp), raisins (1 tbsp), 2 eggs beaten, 2 tsp vanilla essence, 3 tbps sugar, 1 tbsp butter. Soak everything nicely.

    In a separate vessel, brown the sugar nicely. Once the sugar is brown, add the above mixture into the brown sugar.

    Add 1 1 /4 cup water in the cooker. Put the cooker stand and place the pudding vessel inside. Keep the gas on high for 3 whistles and after the 3 whistles, keep it on low flame for 40 mins then again keep it on high for 2 whistles and then switch off the gas.

  14. Hi Shilpa, This looks great. I wil try out this soon..I have a query. The dry coconut is we have to make small pieces and grind or i we have to scrap it just like our wet coconut..

    Shilpa: You are going to grind the coconut, so does not matter if you grate or make pieces of it. Also, fresh coconut is used for this recipe, not dry coconut

  15. Hi Shilpa,
    I just made your Batate Vaagu, turned out pretty flavorful.Had with chapathis for our dinner tonight. Thanks for the recipe, i’ll making this more often now.

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