Friday, January 24, 2014

One Potato, Two Potato...Seven Potato more

Potato or aloo is probably the most commonly used vegetable in Indian households. Counted among one of the three staple vegetables- onion and tomato following close behind. When entertaining you are usually safe when you make a potato dish. Universally liked though some may choose not to eat it thanks to it also being much maligned in the recent past( weight gain, high starch etc.).

If like me you happen to be from the Eastern part of the country potato makes an appearance in almost every meal and dish. So part of our mutton curries, fish jhols, mixed veggie, mashed potatoes and of course made as a stand alone dish with numerous variations. As a starter, main course, side dish and even a dessert with cousin 'sweet potato'

The inspiration for today's blog comes from the fact that I cooked a potato dish with exactly the same set of ingredients as I have done in the past but a tweak here and a chop there and a dish that tastes really different and delicious.

Right now I am on a mission to source authentic recipes from different parts of the country and make it exactly the way it is made there. Friends are happily obliging. This one comes from my true blue Punjabi friend A. A is very precise with her instructions/measures and it is usually easy to get the recipe right the first time round. She is also generous about parting with her short cuts and tips which make her recipes fool proof.

Aloo Subzi( also referred to as Puri Aloo wali Aloo ki Subzi)

Serves 4, Preparation time- 10 minutes, Cooking time: 20 minutes


Medium sized potatoes: 5
Red, plump tomatoes: 4
Ginger: 1/2 inch
Jeera/Cumin: 1 tsp
Amchoor(Dry Mango powder) : 1 tsp
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp or to taste
Garam Masala powder: 1/2 tsp
Refined oil: 1 tbsp.( A strongly recommends you use ghee)
Freshly chopped green coriander: 2 tbsp
Salt to taste


  1. Chop the ginger finely, cut the potato into thick roundels (Now this is a variation from how we make it- we usually boil and cube the potatoes and add to the gravy. Even when adding them raw to the masala potato is usually cubed/diced. The only time I cut potato into roundels is when I make Moussaka; and dice the tomatoes.
  2. Heat oil in the pressure cooker, add cumin and finely chopped ginger. Saute for a few minutes.
  3. Next, add the diced tomatoes and cook till the oil starts to separate. This should take you about 7/10 minutes. You will need to be a little patient as this would involve cooking the tomatoes even after they turn squishy soft.
  4. Add the potato roundels, salt and red chilli powder ( again I would have added haldi/turmeric at this stage- but I think the absence of it gives the gravy a very distinctive colour and taste). Stir them around making sure the masala coats the potatoes.
  5. Add some hot water( about a cup), close the lid of the pressure cooker and let the potatoes cook for 10/15 minutes(one whistle and then on low for about ten minutes).
  6. Let the pressure cooker cool down. Open the lid and mix the potatoes with the gravy. Some will tend to break- this adds thickness to the gravy.
  7. Then add amchur and the garam masala, mix them up well.
  8. Garnish with fresh coriander.
  9. Serve hot with Pooris( well some of us have to contend ourselves eating them with Rotis/Phulkas- tastes as good- almost).
Bon Apetit and Happy Eating!

P.S: This simple dish is somehow addictive. You are more likely to make this potato dish each time.