My Rajasthani neighbour, M Aunty, always says – “aloo hi to aisi sabzi hai jo sabme mel kha jaati hai!” (Potatoes is one such vegetable that will blend with any vegetable), and she is right.
She uses potatoes almost everyday. I swear by them (not M Aunty but the potatoes) too, but I keep a lot of variety in my cuisine. If we had a poll I am sure potatoes would top the list among kitchen necessities. If you are not a potato lover I would say – Awww….you are an exception to the rule, and that only goes to prove the rule. 🙂 One thing is certain – you cannot ignore or hate potatoes. They were introduced by the Western world to us, and they are here to stay.
Whenever I am in short supply of cabbage, I add a potato to increase the quantity. Same goes with cauliflower, gourds or for that matter, any other vegetable. Potatoes not only blend with most vegetables but also add great taste to simple curries transforming them from ordinary to exotic. Over the last few months, I have collected many everyday recipes with potatoes in tango, but not alone. Since they are all easy recipes for the novice cook and since the star of most of these curries (dry and wet) is the ubiquitous and humble potato – I decided to make it a tribute to our household favourite, not only because of its taste but because of its simplicity.
It is a coincidence that they are all yellow in colour, thanks to generous doses of haldi (turmeric).
Turmeric adds an appetizing bright yellow color and also kills germs, so it is a must for most Indian dishes. Only be careful while handling as it tends to stain clothes. These items are all marching to FIC – Yellow
. FIC is an acronym for Food in colors, an event I started and carried on, as I was encouraged by your enthusiasm. It celebrates the colours that go on to make food look great, and tempt us by sight. This month we celebrate yellow.On a different note, I got my first press mention in Delhi Times of India’s ‘Whats Hot’ Section. Ms. Dhawan, the columnist had contacted me sometime back asking me my real name and wrote the rest of the stuff. I did tell her I am fun loving and a mother of two, but the rest of the compliments are hers! Her short review is great but the ‘Aunty’ thing – how did she construe that without knowing me? I don’t like it very much when strangers or acquaintances use a close form of addressal.Click here to read the review
. I am sure many more of you will be there on the column soon – It is called blog-e-binge.
It was Priyanka of Asankhana, who first told me about it through her comment. Thank you Priyanka.
1. Recipe : Aloo Parval Rasedar (Potato with Indian gherkins)
I love parval (gherkins), but by itself it means a lot of work – scraping the skin off the parval is one pain. To top it, the quantity of cooked parval is 1/8th of what you start with – not a good option for cooking dinner when you get back from work.
Cheers, for the potatoes – add a couple and you get a wholesome gravy, tasty veggie and increased quantity! Not to mention the ease, of course, and satisfied members.
Heat a tsp. of oil. Splutter a tsp. of cumin and ajwain seeds.
Add 2 cubed potatoes and 1/2kg. chopped gherkins, and a little salt.
Saute till the gherkins give out water. If needed add 1/2 a cup of water. Cook till the potatoes are softened.
Adjust chilli powder, turmeric (I like lots), salt and a pinch of amchoor (or half a lime).
Garnish and serve with rotis or rice. I was short of potatoes so added a fistful of peas too.
2. Recipe : Aloo ki subzi (Potato in gravy)
This aloo ki subzi is a common one. I make it when I have run out of veggies, and need something fast.
Method:(Serves 2 adults)
Heat a tbsp. of oil, throw in a tsp. of cumin seeds. Let them splutter, add 1/2 a tsp. of ajwain, a tsp. of grated ginger and 3 washed and cubed potatoes.
Add enough water to cover the potatoes, add 1/2 a tsp. of turmeric, chilli powder and salt to taste, a tsp. of dried fenugreek leaves or kasuri methi.
Cover and cook till potatoes go absolutely soft and mushy. Remove the lid, and run with a ladle mashing up two or three cubes to blend with the water. Serve hot with rotis or puris.
3. Aloo Baingan Rasedar (Potatoes and aubergines in stock)
Potatoes pair up extremely well with eggplants, and this curry works out great for those families if the members are choosy. I make this sometimes because P hates brinjals and I like it when made this way. So P takes the potatoes while the rest of us enjoy the curry as a whole.
Method: Serves 4 gluts:
Heat a tbsp. of oil, splutter a tsp. each of cumin and ajwain seeds.
Add 1/2 a cup of chopped onions. Saute till transluscent.
Add 1/2 a cup of chopped tomatoes. Saute till oil trickles. You can hasten the process if you add a little salt to the tomatoes.
Add 3 cubed eggplants and 3 potatoes and saute for a few minutes. Cover with a lid and keep stirring every now and then. If needed add a cup of water and cook till potatoes soften.
Add 1/2 tsp. of coriander powder, chilli powder to taste and adjust the salt. Garnish with coriander and serve hot with rotis. I love it with hot steamed rice too.
4. Aloo Methi Dry Curry (Potatoes and fenugreek greens saute)
This is another hot favourite in the family, and I just love to mash a bit with rasam and slurp it up. I am afraid this uses a little more oil than the rest but it is worth it.
(Serves 2 adults and 2 kids – hoggers of course!)
Cut about 5 large potoates into medium sized cubes.
Clean a bunch of fresh methi leaves (fenugreek leaves) picking out the good leaves to get about 3 cups of leaves. Muddle the leaves with a tbsp. of salt and leave on a strainer for 5 minutes. Squeeze and drink the juice up or discard. Chop the squeezed leaves.
Heat 2 tbsp. of oil. Splutter a tsp. of jeera, 1/2 tsp. saunf, and 1tsp. ajwain. Add the potatoes and very little salt, turmeric and chilli powder. Stir fry till half done. Now add the chopped methi leaves and stir fry for a minute.
Add 1/2 a tsp. of amchoor and again stir fry till the potatoes turn soft and the leaves coat the potatoes all over, and the water in the leaves dries up. Amchoor being sour helps in reducing the bitterness of the leaves.
Adjust salt, chilli powder, and turmeric.
Serve hot with rasam, rice or just plain rotis.