Having just documented one of Indira’s favored foods, I feel this urge to be fair and record one of my younger baccha Noor’s favorites too, before I log off for the day.
Actually, we owe their Nanda Mami a big thank you for introducing us to this amazingly simple, but delicious food when she stayed with us for a few days 3 years ago.
It is very versatile, too. I make this for us to eat with leftover-daal paranthas and raita, or sometimes as part of a first course, to go with a very french salad, when dinner is a more formal affair with guests at home.
And since I am always looking for ways to up the nutrition quotient- the til (sesame) delivers in that department.
A real winner in every way, then !
500 gms of baby potatoes
2-3 tbsp of sesame seeds
(I tend to add more as I love the crunchy taste)
1/2 tsp of mustard seeds
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
1/4 -1/3 tsp of turmeric powder
salt to taste
Juice of half a lemon
3 tbsp of sunflower oil
Boil and peel the potatoes. You can try and save time by by trying to find the pre-boiled,peeled baby potatoes available in some places.
In a frying pan, heat the oil (don’t wait till it starts to smoke, though) and add the mustard seeds. When they start to splutter, add the cumin seeds and as soon as these turns a darker brown (which releases their aroma) add the sesame seeds. Do take care not to let the cumin go black – IMO this neither looks nor tastes good .
Stir the sesame seeds periodically till they start to go a light brown, then add the turmeric, the potatoes, the salt, and toss everything together once. Remember not to let the sesame go too brown. This can make the taste almost bitter. Continue to turn the potatoes from time to time, over the next 5-7 minutes. Now add the lemon juice and cook the potatoes in this juice for another 5-7 minutes, till they liquid is all absorbed.
Take off the heat, and toss in some fresh, chopped coriander if you like.
This dish tastes best if it is prepared a couple of hours ahead of the meal, because this allows time for the ptatoes to really absorb the flavors.
Another thing – I find it works better to have squeezed the juice from the lemon into a bowl befor you start, ready to be used, rather than squeezing the lemon directly over the cooking pan. This latter way, there’s a risk of the seeds of the lemon falling in to the potatoes and then ending up in your mouth. Not good…
For a “hot” flavor, you could add some chopped green chillies (to taste) along with the mustard and cumin.
Anyway you make it, this dish tastes great !