Roast Breadfruit & A Mad Tea Party!

>> Saturday, 16 August 2008

Roast breadfruit - have it once and you'll keep coming back for more. It's that good. No kidding. Last year, I introduced you to a backyard discovery, breadfruit. I mentioned then about my introduction to a good ole time Bajan (Barbadian) delicacy, roast breadfruit. Alas, it is a dying art to make this dish, but not if I have anything to do with it! I searched high and low for someone to show me how to roast the breadfruit and after more than a year of searching, I found someone. You can read all about it in this week's column. For step-by-step photographs of the process, click here.

There's A Mad Tea Party taking place and everyone's invited. Of course since we're all foodies, we have to bring food to the party but here's the thing, we all have to bring a particular dish, batata vada, in these parts we call it potato balls. Our party host, Anita, describes the batata vada as "batter fried spiced mashed potato balls..." and indeed that is what it is. There are however, many versions of this snack and that is what is making this party to exciting. I'm looking forward to the many variations that will be offered up.

Potato balls are sold as a snack particularly in Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago. T & T also make a snack called Aloo Pie, the spiced mashed potato is encased in a dough and fried. At school, we used to buy and eat loads of potato balls and you had to get to the snack lady as soon as the bell rang, if not, well, you know my story about that already. Back then also, vendors would be lined outside the cinemas, their glass cases packed with goodies to be purchased on the way to see a movie. Phulourie, channa, potato balls, cassava balls, egg balls, mitai, you name it and they had it in their cases.

I'm serving my potato balls with an array of condiments for you to choose from: achar, sour, mango chutney and pepper sauce.

My recipe does not give exact amounts, it is flexible, therefore, add amounts to suit your taste.



Thinly sliced green onions (white & green parts)
Minced hot pepper
Chopped cilantro
Freshly ground cumin (geera)
A drizzle or 2 of oil
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying


A pinch of turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste


1 small bowl
1 large bowl
1 large spoon or spatula
1 ice cream scoop
1 deep frying pan
1 slotted spoon
Paper towels


  1. Mix batter ingredients together and set aside
  2. Boil potatoes in salted water; drian and mash potatoes (leave it a bit coarse if you like that texture)
  3. Add all the other ingredients and mix thoroughly (except the oil for deep frying of course). Taste for salt and seasoning
  4. Take mixture a little at a time and form into balls (using the ice cream scoop gives you equal portions)
  5. Heat oil in pan until very hot but not smoking
  6. Dip balls, one at a time into batter, shake off excess and add to oil and fry (do not overcrowd the pan if not they will stick together)
  7. Fry until brown on both sides
  8. Drain on paper towels
  9. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature, as is or with your favourite hot and sour condiment
Over at Forgive Me My Nonsense... I've left Bee's post of Malevolence up because I think that it is important that those who have not gotten a chance to read it, should.

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