Shri loves this potato curry – he calls it aloo shak, which is probably an Indori name for it since he talks fondly of having eaten this many times in the sarafa bazaar of Indore – with puris and if he had his way this is what I would make each time we have friends over for a meal.
Yesterday, for dinner with Vishal and Shefali’s family, we had this curry with palak puris. And it was so pleasing to see Twisha and Vayun enjoy the carrot salad I had made to go with the aloo-puri as much as Shri, Indira and Noor do.
Curries Potatoes/Rasedar Aloo Tamatar
600 gms of potatoes (enough for 4-6 people)
300 gms of tomatoes or an equivalent amount of canned tomato pulp (about 6 tablespoons)
4-5 tablespoons of oil
1/4 teaspoon each of the ingredients of paanchphoran – mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, nigella seeds and fenugreek seeds
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1/2 or 3/4 teaspoon of coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon of kashmiri red chilli powder (or to taste)
2 small cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped fine
1 teaspoon of kasoori methi and/or 1/2 a teaspoon of garam masala (optional)
1 large dry red chili (optional), broken in half
salt to taste
fresh, green coriander,chopped fine
Leave the tomatoes in very hot water – freshly boiled – till their skin comes off easily. Then drain and leave aside to cool.
In the meanwhile cook the potatoes, till they are soft, in a pressure cooker. When the cooker has cooled a bit, open the lid, drain the water, take out the potatoes in a colander and leave aside to dry and cool.
Peel and chop the tomatoes in to very fine pieces.
When the potatoes are cold, peel them and dice them in to small pieces.
In a large frying pan, heat the oil and put in the red chili, the mustard seeds and the nigella seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the fennel seeds, fry for a couple of seconds, then add the garlic and fry for a few seconds till the garlic loses it’s raw look. Now add the cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds and fry for just another couple of seconds else the fenugreek seeds can burn and will develop a bitter taste.
Add the tomatoes next and cook on medium heat till their juice starts to dry up. Then add all the dry spices and fry for a minute or so, till the oil starts to appear on the sides of the mixture. Now stir in the kasoori methi and fry for another few seconds.
Add the potatoes, along with salt. Fry for a few minutes till the potatoes are well-coated with the tomato mixture. Then add about 2 cups of water and simmer the curry for a while till the gravy is as thick as you like (add more water if needed). Once way to ensure the curry is well-done is to let it simmer, stirring occasionally, till the surface starts to acquire a rich red color/glaze.
Garnish with green coriander , if you haven’t used kasoori methi.