We discovered watana rassa at a restaurant called Cafe Real in Panjim. A Saraswat Brahmin dish, it was a thin rassa made with dried white peas. The server recommended we eat it with buns made of bananas – and rightly so. The combination of savoury-spicy rassa with sweet buns was so brilliant that I immediately knew we had to add it to our opening menu. It has never left O Pedro’s menu since.

  • Serves


  • Cook Time



For Watana

  • 2 cups dried green watana (dried peas)
  • 2 cups sliced onions
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • ½ cup grated coconut
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, packed
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • ½ tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 4 green chillies, slit on a bias
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste

For Bhatura (Goa Bun)

  • 400 gm plain all-purpose flour
  • 210 gm ripe bananas
  • 83 gm sugar
  • 44 gm yoghurt
  • 13 gm ghee
  • 5 gm salt
  • 3 gm baking soda
  • 3 gm cumin seeds, crushed


For Bhatura

  1. Mash the banana with a hand mixer.
  2. Toss in sugar, yoghurt and mix until sugar dissolves. Add toasted cumin seeds.
  3. Sift the baking soda, maida and salt, and add to the banana mix in two parts until incorporated.
  4. Spoon in ghee and knead for a few minutes until incorporated.
  5. Portion into balls of 100 gm each.
  6. Before frying, roll out portioned dough and keep on trays between sheets of butter paper.
  7. When ready, tip each portion into oil heated to 200°C and keep ladling hot oil over it so that it puffs to its maximum size.

For Watana Rassa

  1. Soak the dried watana overnight in at least 8 cups of water.
  2. Next morning, pressure cook watana on low flame for 2 whistles with 6-8 cups of water and 1 tbsp salt until it is soft but not mushy. Drain and save the water.
  3. In a small sauté pan, heat 2 tbsp oil on medium flame, add sliced onions and caramelise.
  4. Transfer to a bowl, and toss in cilantro, garam masala, fennel and coconut. Grind to a fine paste with 1.5 cups of water.
  5. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat remaining oil on medium flame. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Follow with curry leaves and slit chillies.
  6. Finally, add tomato and cook till the oil separates. Lower the flame and toss in the masala paste, stirring continuously.
  7. Once the paste is cooked, which should take around 7-8 minutes, add boiled watana and 5-6 cups of reserved water, depending on how thick or runny you want your rassa.
  8. Taste and season with salt. Serve the rassa hot with bhatura.
Hussain Shahzad

Hussain Shahzad

Hussain Shahzad, the Executive Chef at O Pedro, a Goa-inspired restaurant in Mumbai, is Scroll Food’s Chef of the Month for October. He started his career with the Oberoi Group of Hotels in Mumbai, before moving to New York, where he worked at the iconic Eleven Madison Park. His culinary adventures have taken him around the world and included a brief stint as a personal chef to Roger Federer. Before taking the reins at O Pedro, he was a part of the team at the award-winning The Bombay Canteen. A dynamic and bold chef, Hussain’s food philosophy is to showcase local produce using contemporary culinary techniques.

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