Khatta Bateta (Sour potatoes) Mombasa style

Another of the lovely food memories from my younger days growing up in Mombasa.  The joy of walking home from Mbheni Primary School with friends, passing by hawkers with Achaari, Vitumbua, Sour potatoes near Mbheni Bazaar. Buying these potatoes, served on white paper or newspaper, topped with ghatia, crisps, chutneys, using the finger to lick up the last drop from the paper with not a care about the black ink coming off!

I happened to be in the same bazaar a year ago and lo and behold, there was a ‘new’ withered old man serving the same red sour potatoes tasty as ever. As with many recipes there are many ways of making these, ours has evolved with differing potatoes in differing countries!


  • 2 tbs Sunflower or other cooking oil
  • 2 tsps plain white flour
  • half cup water
  • half cup tomato ketchup
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp paprika or a little red food colour
  • 1 lb pre-boiled potatoes diced into 1 inch pieces (for best results use Maris Piper or New potatoes)
  • 2 tsps lemon or lime juice
  • Ready salted potato crisps
  • Chutneys of choice


  1. PortionPut the oil into a large saucepan or wok, add the flour, sizzle for 2 minutes without browning, add the water, ketchup, salt, food colour or paprika and bring to the boil. Keep on a rolling boil for 4 – 5 minutes.
  2. Add the potatoes, using a wooden spoon mash a few of the potatoes on the side of the pan to thicken mixture. Cook covered on low heat for a further 2 -3 minutes. (Do not stir too often or the potatoes will break). Mixture should be quite thick, if it is still runny, boil off some of the liquids.
  3. Add lemon/lime juice and remove from heat, mix once and take out into serving dish.
  4. Serve with plenty of plain potato crisps, sev, ghatia, chevdo and chutneys of your choice (Chutney recipes on this website for Chillie sauce, Coconut chutney, Apple/ Mango Chutney and Green Chutney to choose from!).


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About Me

I am Sabiha Khokhar, born in Kenya now living in London – a busy working mother, wife, published author and passionate cook. Despite having many interests in life, my greatest joy is FOOD!

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