Aloo Ki Tarkari – Some Nostalgia And A Recipe

Only the best way to prepare potatoes, that’s all

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There is a certain nostalgia that comes with aloo ki bhujia/ tarkari. The fact that it is a staple for halwa puri breakfasts is perhaps the reason for this nostalgia. A lot of us associate this classic breakfast/brunch combo with good vibes.

Halwa puri is eaten when:

  • The whole family is home- Sundays and public holidays
  • Surprisingly, the weather is pleasant
  • Guests are over, especially if they’ve come from abroad
  • The ‘special’ breakfast the larki waalas (a bride’s family) bring the morning after the wedding
  • As part of mayoun or dholki menus
  • Right before heading to the beach, or at the beach (any other day outing works too)
  • To celebrate office milestones
  • When you feel like it

Ergo, all the good vibes.

Back to aloo ki tarkari. For me, it’s the best part of halwa puri, my family is the one that always asks for extra aloo instead of extra halwa.

Yep.

Keeping halwa puri aside though, it’s still excellent to have for lunch or for a dinner side with dum ka keema- have it with piping hot kachori or paratha and it is Pakistani culinary decadence defined.

The best thing about this dish is that it is extremely easy and relatively quick to whip up. Let’s not be extraordinary and pretend that we whip up from-scratch kachoris to go along with it; just pick up your favorite kind from the frozen aisle, and you’re all set for a great meal.

Fun fact: Did you know that potatoes can help in lowering your cancer risk? Best. News. Ever.

All you need to do is peel and boil potatoes until tender but not too soft. You want to be able to cut through them with a little resistance, because they will cook further with the spices. Roughly break with a spatula or you can do a rough dice.

create a stir

Heat oil in a pan. Add kalonji, rai and curry leaves. At this point, if you feel like you want to add in a signature spice, go ahead. Some people like the addition of cumin seeds or a bit of coriander powder/seeds.

Once they start to sputter, add in potatoes, red chili flakes, salt and turmeric. Sauté for a few seconds. Add the tamarind water and plain water according to the consistency you prefer.  Bring the mixture to a boil for one minute, add green chilies and then simmer for another 5-7 minutes.

Keep checking the consistency of the mixture so it is to your preference.

Serve with achaar (pickles) and puris. Enjoy to your heart’s content.


Recipe: Aloo ki Bhujia/Tarkari (Spicy Potato Curry)

Aloo ki tarkari, served with puri paratha and achaar

Ingredients:

4 medium potatoes

2 tbsp oil

½ tsp kalonji (onion seeds/ caraway seeds)

½ tsp rai (mustard seeds)

3-4 curry leaves

Haldi (turmeric), a pinch

Salt, to taste

½ tsp crushed red chilies

¼ cup tamarind water (imli ka pani)*

1-2 cups water

2 whole green chilies

Method:

Peel and boil potatoes until tender but not too soft. Roughly break with a spatula or spoon; make sure there are solid clumps of potato visible to the eye

Heat oil in a pan. Add kalonji, rai and curry leaves. Once they start to sputter, add in potatoes, red chili flakes, salt and turmeric. Sauté for a few seconds.

Add the tamarind water and plain water according to the consistency you prefer.  Bring the mixture to a boil for one minute, add green chilies and then simmer for another 5-7 minutes.

Keep checking the consistency of the mixture so it is to your preference.

Serve with achaar (pickles) and puris.

*If you do not wish to use tamarind pulp, you may use 2 tomatoes or 1 teaspoon of prepared carrot pickle- for the sour kick. If using tomatoes, add them with the seeds and let cook for 5-7 minutes before adding the potatoes

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