MASALEDAR ALOO SUBZI – SPICY POTATOES – west Indian style


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Recipe for Masaledar Aloo (Dry Spicy potatoes) – serves 4 to 6

Preparation time: 25 min

Cooking time: 15 min

Ingredients:

 20 Baby Potatoes/1 lb – abt 1.5 inch diameter potatoes work well for this recipe

1 ½ cup green peas 3 firm Red tomatoes

Pinch of Asafoetida (Hing)

1 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

 3 tsp red chili powder

1 tbsp Ginger paste or grated fresh ginger

 7-8 Curry leaves

1 tsp Lemon juice

 1 tsp sugar

 3 tsp salt or adjust to taste

3 tablespoon oil

To roast and grind to powder:

2 ½ tablespoon Coriander seeds (measure little more than ½ tbsp per serving)

1 tablespoon Cumin Seeds (measure little less than ¼ tbsp per serving)

1 ½ tsp Ajwain (Carom) seeds (measure little more than 1/4 tsp per serving)

3 tsp fennel seeds (measure ¾ tsp per serving)

Method:

1. Wash and clean the potatoes, poke tiny holes with fork on them and soak in 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp turmeric powder water with water about an inch above the potatoes– I like with skin but optionally you can peel-off the potato skin before soaking- give a quick boil and turn off the heat. Let the potatoes remain in the hot water until working on other preparations.

TIP: Soaking in salty water will add more taste to potatoes when cooked by avoiding the blandness on the inside as the baby potatoes are not cut in this recipe

 2. Dry roast the grinding spices on hot non-stick pan. Let cool, coarsely grind the mixture (I used mortar and pestle but coffee grinder also works well with just 2-3 quick pulses) and add to the ginger paste with sugar, red chili powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and 3 tsp water

 TIP: Mom’s trick to avoid burning the ginger and spices while cooking in hot oil for longer.

3. Wash and apply little oil –used extra virgin olive oil (coconut oil also gives good flavor)- over the tomato skins with finger tips–and bake in 300 degree Farenheit pre-heated oven for 20 min turning over 10 min interval to let the skin cook-burn on all sides.

TIP: this method gives a nice flavor to the tomatoes when paste with the peas

4. Heat oil on a frying pan on stove and add hing and curry leaves

5. Add green peas and stir well to coat them evenly with the oil- cover and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally on medium-low heat. Add ¼ tsp salt and mix well.

TIP: I add salt per ingredient for more accurate measurement.

6. Add the ginger mixture to the peas and stir well to coat the peas evenly with the spices. Add the dry ground spices and stir well.

 TIP: the ground spices are added at this later stage because they were already dry-roasted before so require less cooking now to retain the flavors.

7. Remove tomatoes from the oven, chop in very small pieces (you can also remove the tomato skin before chopping if desired – I like the skins) and add to the peas. Mix well and press so that the tomatoes and peas are crushed and combined. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally to avoid sticking on the bottom of the pan.

TIP: Avoid pureeing the tomato to retain the baked flavor and the dryness of the subji recipe.

8. Drain the potatoes and them to the peas and tomato and mix well to evenly coat with the peas-tomato mixture. Cover and cook with ¼ cup water stirring occasionally. Add half tsp salt or per taste and stir well. Add lemon juice and stir well.

TIP: Remember there was salt while soaking potatoes, in the peas, in the tomatoes so just add little at the end per taste. The water used to soak potatoes can be used to cook-boil dal later.

9. Serve hot with Roti/Paratha and Raita or Plain/Jeera Rice-Dal/Raita

Variations :

 1. Use tomato without baking for cutting down prep time. You have to compromise with the flavor though

 2. Steam cook potatoes until tender but not mushy after soaking for 15 minutes only OR microwave soaked in salt/turmeric water for 5 minutes. Steaming may cause potatoes to soak in more oil while cooking so I would avoid that method unless you want to try.

3. Use 5 cups of finely chopped cabbage (marinated with salt and turmeric powder without water) instead of potatoes.

 4. If using larger potatoes, you can cut them into appropriate size of scoop off balls using ice-cream scoops once cooked/boiled in water and softened. Then use in the cooking with the dry gravy mix

5. Add 1 more tomato and cook with ½ tsp more each of chili powder, sugar and salt. And once the potatoes are cooked, add 1 tbsp of well beated creamy yogurt (like Stonyfield or Greek yogurt which is not sour) instead of lemon juice. Heat 1 tsp oil and add black mustard seeds. When spluttered add it on top of the prepared masaledar Aloo in yogurt Gravy subji and garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.

 6. Sweet and Tangy firm Mangoes replacing potatoes will also make a nice variation. I love tangy mangoes and have tried this version as well. Add ½ cp more peas and reduce ½ tomatoes if using mangoes. It can be accompanied with Parathas and Shrikhand instead of Raita for a combination of sweet and sour platter!!!

 7. Raw bananas substitute of potatoes will work for the Jainism followers.

8. My sister’s favorite variation – bake tomatoes after removing top stem portion and removing the seeds – add some cheese – take out chop/mash and add to the peas mixture. Add potatoes and cook for 5 min covered.. ready to eat!!! Kids will love the cheesy food

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