Tamatar waale Jeera Aloo (Tomato glazed Cumin Potatoes)

Sometimes all you need is a little bit of potato…

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If there is one recipe that is a family favourite it is this one! Every time we have a get together my mother makes sure this recipe is there to grace the occasion and every time I see my mother in law this is her top request among things to eat. My husband loves jeera aloo so much that he could simply devour a bowl on its own and can eat them for days on end without any complaints.

As it is a dry dish it goes really well with Arhar ki Dal (the recipe for it can be found here) or other lentils and gravies too. When you serve it with a gravy item this dish makes a complete meal, after all the staples of any Indian meal are a curry, a dry side dish, roti breads, rice and other accompaniments such as raitas, pickles, papadums.

I can’t stress enough on how quick this dish is to make and it is so comforting, its like a warm hug on a rough day! So the next time you are wondering what to do with those potatoes in your pantry, try jeera aloo and I can most certainly guarantee it won’t disappoint.

 

Ingredients:  6  Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

  • Five to six potatoes, peeled and boiled
  • Two tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • Two teaspoons cumin seeds
  • One teaspoon coriander powder
  • Three tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Cut the boiled potatoes into cubes and keep aside.

In a pan heat oil and add cumin seeds, let them sizzle for about two minutes or until you smell their aroma.

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Now add the chopped tomatoes and cook them for about five to seven minutes. Once the oil starts to leave the sides of the mixture, add chopped coriander and give it all a good stir.

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Add the potatoes to the tomato mix and stir them to coat the potatoes evenly with the tangy tomato goodness. Season with salt as required and let the potatoes cook for about 10 minutes until slightly crispy.

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If your mouth is already watering just by reading the recipe and seeing the photos, I suggest you get moving and make this simple, no fuss dish for dinner tonight. Take my word it will become your family favourite too.

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Aloo Puri (Potato Curry with Puffed Crispy Bread)

Fit for a king and queen…

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Thanks to the long weekend and some friends visiting from interstate I decided to get a little ambitious in the kitchen and whip up a rather elaborate meal. Aloo puri, a traditional North Indian breakfast which screams indulgence and decadence with every bite. This dish is definitely not for the faint hearted.

The potato curry is made in a rich tomato gravy spiced with whole spices and masalas. The puri or puffed bread is the perfect companion to go with the potato curry. This dish makes you appreciate just how diverse Indian food is, breakfast is beyond toast and eggs or cereal. It’s fair to say this breakfast dish is fit for a king or queen.

Ingredients: 18    Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

For the potato curry

  • Four to five potatoes, boiled
  • One can of tomatoes
  • One onion, finely chopped
  • Two pods of garlic, finely chopped
  • Two green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • One teaspoon cumin seeds
  • One teaspoon panch poran mix
  • One teaspoon amchur (dried mango powder)
  • 1.5 teaspoon sugar
  • One black cardamom pod
  • Three to four cloves
  • One tablespoon ghee
  • Salt to taste

For the puri

  • Two cups of flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons of carom seeds
  • Two tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • Two tablespoons of yogurt
  • Water to knead the dough

Lets start by making the dough – mix all the ingredients in a bowl and knead the dough and keep it aside for 15 to 20 minutes before rolling the puris out.

While the dough is resting let’s make the curry. Heat a tablespoon of ghee in a pan, once the ghee had melted add the onions and cook them until translucent. Now add the garlic and green chillies, followed by the whole spices including cumin seeds, cloves, panch poran mix (this includes fennel seeds, black mustard seeds, nigella seeds and fenugreek seeds) and the smashed black cardamom pod.

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Once the onions are slightly carmelised add a can of crushed tomatoes and let the gravy cook for about seven to ten minutes. Now add the powdered spices including turmeric and amchur, if you cant find amchur you can also use about two tablespoons of lemon juice. Season the tomato paste with salt and sugar as required.

Now add the potatoes to the tomato gravy followed by two cups of water. Give the curry a good stir and cover the saucepan with a lid and let the gravy simmer on a low flame for about ten to twelve minutes.

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While the potatoes are simmering you can roll out the puris, break the dough into small pieces and shape it into round balls. Spread a little oil on your bench or very little flour (don’t use a lot of flour as the puri will burn when you fry it) and roll out each small round to the size of a saucer.

Once you have rolled out all the puris, in a deep saucepan bring oil to a boil. Drop one puri into the oil at a time and cook for about a minute on each side. The puri should puff out and become golden. Remove and drain on a paper towel to soak up the excess oil.

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There it is your breakfast/brunch inspiration fit for royalty. This long weekend my friends in Australia and India I hope you have a fantastic holiday. Don’t forget to eat, drink and celebrate, perhaps in style with aloo puri.

Aloo Paratha (Indian Crispy Potato Flatbread)

You haven’t eaten it all till you have eaten an Aloo Paratha…

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Happy 2015 LSD readers!!!

While most of you are thinking of healthier options for breakfast after all the indulgence over Christmas and New Years, the party never seems to end in a Punjabi household. The definition of healthy is two aloo parathas instead of four.

It is safe to say aloo paratha is the king of all breakfasts and if you don’t agree it’s simply because you have not eaten it the right way. First you have to drench it in ghee while cooking it and then top it up with a dollop of butter and a side of pickle. Use your hands to devour this crispy, flavoursome and greasy flatbread.

Ingredients: 10  Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 6

For the dough
  • 500 gms of plain flour (I used wholewheat flour)
  • 250 ml of water
For the stuffing
  • Four medium sized potatoes peeled and boiled
  • 1/2 an onion finely chopped
  • One tablespoon of finely chopped coriander
  • Three to four finely chopped green chillies (depending on how spicy you like it)
  • One teaspoon of toasted cumin seeds
  • One teaspoon of chaat masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Three tablespoons of ghee

In a bowl sieve the flour, as recommended in my previous flatbread post get the flour from your Indian grocer as the plain flour in the supermarkets does not yield soft parathas. Add water and knead the dough, let the dough rest for 15 – 20 minutes prior to making the parathas.

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While the dough it resting lets make the stuffing. Add the boiled potatoes and all the other ingredients in a bowl, season with salt as required and mash the potatoes. Your stuffing is now ready!

Break the dough in six equal parts and roll it into a round ball by moulding it between the palm of your hands. Do the same with the stuffing make it into a round ball.

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Now dust the dough ball with plain flour and roll it into a medium sized circle. Place the potato stuffing in the centre, take the edge of the dough and start pleating as well as bringing the pleats in the centre.

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Dust the stuffed dough ball with a bit of flour and roll it out to the size of a roti. Place the paratha on a hot tava or frying pan and cook the paratha on both sides until lightly browned. Brush the parath with a generous helping of ghee or olive oil and cook either side for one or two minutes until crispy.

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Your lip smackingly delicious aloo paratha is ready to be served. I would highly recommend serving them with a dollop of ghee and a side of pickle. I was a bit cheeky and added a side of mango lassi too to wash it all down. One word….DELICIOUS!

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Punjabi Kadhi Chawal ( Yogurt and Gram Flour Curry and Rice)

I see your curry and raise you Punjabi Kadhi…

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Everyone has their own definition of comfort food. A big bowl of pasta, a big juicy burger, a tub of chocolate icecream, an extra cheesy pizza and if you are like me a big bowl of curry and rice!

Initially upon moving to Australia, I was always perplexed why they called all Indian food ‘Curry’. Now I am convinced the reason why westerners call all Indian food curry stems from today’s dish, Kadhi (sounds like Curry)! Bad joke, I know!!!

Kadhi is made in almost every part of India, depending on which Indian community you come from the Kadhi will vary accordingly. Punjabi Kadhi is thick and creamy, often served with pakodas and fondly called Kadhi pakoda. Sindhi Kadhi is thin and light, tempered with drumsticks and an onion and tomato paste. Rajasthani Kadhi also called Gatta Kadhi is served with gramflour flour (besan in hindi) dumplings.

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Kadhi is definitely a family favourite for us! Beeji and Dad love it with ghee, Maa and Massi like curry leaves in theirs and my brother likes his Kadhi, just like his women…HOT!

As a child I didn’t like Kadhi at all, actually I detested it! On days we had Kadhi for dinner in the house, I would go on a Gandhian style ‘Civil Disobedience Movement’, disobeying to eat dinner!

Funny how times change, I love Kadhi now! I am sharing the recipe with you, which is a confluence of my Beeji, Maa and Massi’s recipe. One requirement for a great Kadhi is tart yoghurt. The more tart the yoghurt the better the Kadhi. Now you know what to do with that yoghurt that may have been gracing your fridge for a few days.

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Ingredients: 17     Cooking time: 60 minutes
Serves: 6
  • Seven tablespoons of plain Yoghurt or Dahi (I used natural Greek yoghurt)
  • Five tablespoons of gramflour
  • Two tablespoon of coriander powder
  • Two tablespoon of dried mango powder (optional)
  • One tablespoon fenugreek seeds
  • One teaspoon turmeric powder
  • One teaspoon red chilli powder
  • One teaspoon garam masala powder
  • One black cardamom
  • Two bay leaves
  • Five to six cloves
  • Eight to ten curry leaves
  • One onion chopped
  • Four to five green chillies
  • One tablespoon of freshly minched ginger
  • Three tablespoons of mustard oil
  • Salt to taste

In a bowl add yoghurt, followed by the spices, one tablespoon of coriander powder and one teaspoon each of turmeric, red chilli and garam masala powder. If your yoghurt isn’t tart enough add two tablespoons dried mango powder.

Mix the yoghurt well, then add five tablespoons of gramflour or besan, followed by eight cups of water. Mix the batter until there are no lumps.

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In a deep saucepan add mustard oil and let it heat. Mustard oil is key to this dish as it would not taste the same without it. Now add the fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, bay leaves, cloves and black cardamom. Let the herbs and spices temper. Then add the chopped onions, minced ginger and green chillies. Cook the onion mix on a medium heat for 15 minutes. Now add one tablespoon of coriander powder and let the onions cook on a medium heat for another two to three minutes.

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Once the onions are nicely browned add the yoghurt and gram flour mix to the pan, give it a good stir and cover the sauce pan with a lid. Let the beautiful yellow concoction bubble away for the next 30 to 40 minutes on medium heat. By this time the aromas of Kadhi will be permeating through your house. Remove the lid and check the consistency of the Kadhi, which should be  reasonably thick and creamy.

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Your Kadhi is ready to serve! It is best eaten with plain steamed white rice or jeera (cumin) rice. I hope your family enjoys my family favourite!!

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Mutter Paneer (Peas and Cottage Cheese Curry)

Because there is nothing in life a good curry can’t fix..

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Being a true Indian my heart and belly always crave for Indian food,  I can simply never get enough. Contrary to popular belief there is so much variety in Indian food. In terms of curries, butter chicken only scratches the surface.

This post is dedicated to my love for curry and LSD’s 300th ‘Facebook Liker’, Mrs Chloe Sandher.  Chloe was introduced to Indian food initially by a friend and her love for it grew stronger when she met the love of her life, her husband! 

Mutter Paneer is a classic North Indian dish. The soft crumbly texture of the paneer, the sweetness of the peas and the delicious tomato gravy all make this a dish to reckon with.

Ingredients: 12           Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4
  • 200 gms of paneer
  • Two cups of  frozen peas 
  • 1.5 tablespoons of ghee (or olive oil)
  • One diced onion
  • One can of diced tomatoes (or four to five fresh diced tomatoes)
  • Five crushed cardamom pods 
  • Two chopped green chillies
  • Half cup of skim milk
  • 1.5 teaspoons of cumin powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons of coriander powder
  • One teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste

Add ghee in a pan and wait until it melts. Now add the chopped onion and cook it on medium heat, giving it time to caramelise. Once the onion is translucent add the chopped green chillies, let the onions continue to caramelise.

Once the onion mix is nice and carmelised, add the tomatoes (you can use fresh or canned). In my experience canned tomatoes give the curry a really good colour and make the gravy creamier.

Now add the spices – cumin, coriander and turmeric powder. Cook the gravy on a medium heat for about seven to ten minutes. Let the gravy cool a bit. Then add half a cup of skim milk and blend the gravy to make it smooth and creamy.

Its time for the secret ingredient, the cardamom pods. Smash the cardamom pods, remove the skins and then crush the seeds, making them into a fine powder. 

Now add the peas followed by the cardamom powder and two cups of water to your creamy tomato gravy. Cover the pan with a lid and let the peas simmer in the gravy for five to seven minutes. By this stage you should be smelling the beautiful aromas of cardamom and peas.

Your peas are ready for the paneer, cut it in cubes and add it into the gravy. Give the curry a good stir, gently so as to not break the paneer. Some prefer to fry the paneer before adding it into curries with the belief that it holds itself better.

Let me bust that myth for you! By frying the paneer you are only adding to the calories, the key is once you add the paneer avoid stirring the gravy too much.

Let the paneer and peas simmer on a low heat for five minutes. There it is, your lip smackingly delicious Mutter Paneer!

Chloe LSD hopes you and your husband enjoy this curry! And so do all the other readers, remember when in doubt make a curry!!!