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Nov 182011

Along came Aloo Matar and  screamed “I need a new life. I want to have fun, meet some spunky ingredients and get sassy”. I could not say No! I do like to say the word ever so often that I think my kid has started to think that it’s my way of saying yes! Or, she probably thinks that it is a verbal virus that I caught on. My repeated pleas and proof that it actually is a word that means what it says, falls on somewhat non listening ears. But I digress …

So this little dish needed a makeover, and much as I love the word No ( Honest ! I have not been attacked by a caught phrase virus), I could not say it. I thought to myself.. Well this dish does need to go on a culinary journey and meet the smoky hot guy named Clove. What happened next?

Read on to find out!

…. we sat together, the ingredients and I, thinking about how best to bring about a makeover and put forward the very best foot, so the guy named clove, who is hot and smoky would be interested. Sitting flamboyant in its layers of dressy peels, was the onion. Hmm! We needed contemporary and the layers of dressy peels would not cut it. I think I have watched too many episodes of ‘what not to wear’ ; I could hear Stacy London talking in my brain. Plus I was in no mood to cry my eyes out! With genuine apologies, the onion was asked to rest up for a twirling time another day with another dish. Then we met the tomatoes, ripe juicy and oh so pretty. We let them join the party, but made it invitation only. So In came 2 of the prettiest tomatoes with glossy skin and shiny colors. Now we needed a contrast to make it understated glamorous. Frozen green peas and yellow potatoes joined in. We had our main ingredients and it was the time to bring the zing in – delicious oil, Toasty cumin, roasted coriander, a dash of salt, a pinch of turmeric, a smidgen of fiery good red chili, a touch of black cumin, a few dancing pepper corns, a squirt of lime ; all arrived in time. And to allow all of them to make merry together, a bottle of tomato juice was popped open. We had them all seated, let them mingle and do their thing and just at the right moment, came in the smoky sweet clove. And the makeover was complete.


The verdict?

The ever so popular Aloo Mattar became the deep mysterious Aloo Mattar! After a taste test … Well ! Stacy London would say “ Shuttt Up!” And my hubz said, “ Smokin Hawt”. I don’t know if he meant me or the dish. I think it was me.. wait.. I think he meant the dish.! Sigh.. I need a makeover!


Here is what all went into making this:

Aloo Matar – Smokin’

Aloo Matar – Smokin’


  • 2C diced potatoes
  • 1/2C chopped tomatoes
  • 1C frozen peas
  • 1C tomato juice
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1Tbs coriander
  • 1tsp whole pepper corns
  • 1/2 tsp black cumin
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2-3 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (optional)


  1. Dry roast the cumin and coriander. [ non stick pan, low heat, put them on, keep stirring, wait until toasty and color changes slightly]
  2. Grind the cumin, coriander, peppercorn and cloves.
  3. Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pan and add the potatoes. Stir, cover and cook on medium heat until just about tender. Keep checking on them and stirring them once a while. Add in the tomatoes and let them cook until they are mixed in with potatoes.
  4. Add the black cumin, the ground spices, turmeric, chili powder, salt and peas. Mix everything in. Cook for about two minutes until the spices are lightly fragrant. Add the tomato juice and a dash of lemon juice. Simmer for another 5 - 7 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender and the spices and peas and everything is harmonized.

Aug 112010

Boiled and mashed potatoes get a flavor of mustard oil, dry and green chillies, lightly fried onions and some cumin. Eaten with khichdi  in the state of Bihar, it’s a quick and comforting dish. Every Bihari family has their own variation of chokha  , sometimes more than one as well – for its an often made dish.  Featured here is a chokha made with potatoes. The other two traditional kinds of choka  are  tomato and eggplant and are served and made differently. That’s a story for another day.

This dish can be served as a side with plain Dal and rice, or khichdi . Simple comforting food for the days you want to feel snuggy!

Serves 3 -4


  • 2 large gold potatoes
  • 1 shallot finely sliced
  • 1 thai chilli, chooped
  • 1 dry red chilli, broken into 2 or 3 pieces
  • ¼ tsp cumin  1 tsp mustard oil
  • Salt to taste


  • Boil the potatoes, peel and mash them up
  • Heat the oil and allow it to smoke a little
  • Add the cumin, cook for 30 seconds and add the shallot
  • Cook for about a minute or till the shallot turns light golden
  • Add the green and the red chilli
  • Now add the potatoes and the salt
  • Mix everything well
  • Remove from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving. This allows the mustard oil and the spices to enhance the flavor of the potatoes
Feb 122010

Stuffed Tandoori Potatoes

With a little prep, these  Stuffed Tandoori Potatoes come together in a jiffy when you are hosting a Bbq. They are delicious as a side dish and if you want to make them for your vegan friends, replace heavy cream with some coconut oil. Most often these are the first ones to vanish when I make them for my parties. These also make great addition to a salad if you have some leftovers. Just add in some cheese on top, a few greens of your choice along with onion rings and tomatoes and you have yourself a tasty salad to take to work.

  • 10 Baby potatoes
  • 2 Tbs raisins
  • 2 Tbs walnuts – chopped
  • 4 tsp coriander mint chutney
  • 1/2 bell pepper (any color), diced in squares
  • 2 Tbs heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp ginger- green chilli paste
  • 1/2 tsp tandoori spice powder

Advance Prep :

  • soak a few bamboo skewers in water for a few hours or overnight
  • Wash the potatoes well.


  1. Fill a pan with water and bring it to a rolling boil
  2. Add the potatoes, cook for a few minutes, until tender  but not overcooked
  3. Drain and let it cool slightly
  4. Slice the top of the potatoes (almost 1/4th part of the potato)
  5. Using an apple corer, core out some of the potato from the bigger part of the potato, making a cavity inside
  6. Ensure you do not core it through and through
  7. Mix the raisins, chutney, walnuts and some of the scooped out potato
  8. Fill this mixture into the hollow of the potatoes
  9. use the sliced tops as caps and thread them on to the skewers along with the bell peppers
  10. Mix the cream, ginger green- chilli paste and the tandoori spice powder.
  11. Brush it thoroughly on top of the Potato skewers
  12. Grill on a charcoal grill preferably on medium heat until the grill marks appear.

Serve as an appetizer with mint and cilantro chutney. This recipe can serve 5 – 10 people based on portion sizes.

Aug 252008

 Kashmiri Dum Aaloo – the way it actually should be. Its spicy,hot, and oh so heavenly. I have often received compliments for this dish. The best one always is “Is this really a Potato”? Well.. that’s how we like to keep our dishes. Deep, Rich, Tasty and oh so mysterious.

Now there is a lot one can do with potatoes. Its almost universal in its appeal. Boiled, Baked, Mashed, Fried. Oh don’t we just love potatoes !

So what makes a Koshur “Dum Olu” or Dum Aloo so special?  It’s the way the spices marry the potato and leave a trace of spicy romance. And it sure isn’t the Kashmiri dum aloo you are used to in restaurants – the sweet dollops of potato in gravy are not real thing.

The making of kashmiri dum aloo is in fact a culinary art. Its not the recipe, but the execution of the recipe that makes a difference.  Every kashmiri family makes dum aloo with almost the same recipe, yet each family’s dum aloo tastes different.

Adding sugar is an optional step. I picked this trick from my grandmom, when my daughter who was 6 yrs old then, would keep saying that “why can’t anyone make dum aloo like great granny? ” Even my mom could never figure out what her mom was doing differently. So we asked her and she answered with a sheepish smile ” I add a pinch of sugar in the end – it cuts the heat and enriches the color!

With this recipe, I share the love that my Dad , Mom and Grandmother shared with me while teaching me the steps to perfectly execute this dish. Here’s to you Papa, Mumma and Naani ma!

Dum Aloo Kashmiri – Authentic

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Serves: 10 - 12

Serving Size: 1

This recipe is more about the technique & patience while cooking and does take time to cook. If you are in a hurry and think you can modify the steps, or make short cuts, please do not attempt this. The results may not be as expected.

Also, with the steps involved, a beginner cook of Indian Cuisine may try and attempt this after a few trials of other less complex recipes.

If you do alter instructions and ingredients, please remember you are altering the results. I am not trying to discourage you, just requesting that you maintain the sanctity of a cultural treasure!


  • 10 - 12 medium sized potatoes;
  • 1- 11/2 TBS Kashmiri chili powder/ Degi Mirch also works well; [reduce the chilli according to the heat you can take ;)]
  • Salt to taste,
  • 1/4tsp asafetida powder (hing powder)
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder,
  • 4-5 cloves; ( slightly crushed)
  • 1/2 cup yogurt(room temperature and whisked well)
  • ½ tsp cumin seed
  • 1 C oil for frying
  • 4 Tbs oil
  • 1 cinnamonstick ;
  • 2-3 big brown cardamom/badi elaichi; ( slightly crushed - give it a knock with a heavy spoon)
  • 1 small green cardamom;
  • 3 -4 tsp fennel powder;
  • 1/2 tbs sugar;(optional)
  • water;
  • Garam Masala powder ( Kashmiri Garam masala)


  1. Boil the potatoes or cook them in a pressure cooker, but be sure not to overcook. You want an overall boiled potato without it being mushy.
  2. Peel the skin off the potatoes, and pierce the potatoes all over with a tooth pick or a thin skewer. You have to sort of pierce them through and through. This is an important step. So take your time.
  3. Heat oil in a Kadahi or pan.
  4. Deep fry the potatoes on medium heat until they get a reddish brown tinge and are crisp and light. The potatoes should feel lighter than when they were when boiled. If they are not light, the spices and oil won't steep in.
  5. Remove from heat and place them in a bowl.
  6. Now keep all spices, water and yogurt lined up and ready to go.
  7. Take a separate pot, heat some oil on medium heat. (4 Tbs should be good to get a good taste going, but you should use more (if you can ) to get the real taste.
  8. Add in cumin, then the cloves and sauté for just a few seconds. Add in the bay leaf, asafoetida, cinnamon, green cardamom, brown cardamom.
  9. Add a Tbs or two of water to the chili powder, mix well and then add to the oil. This reduces the risk of the chili getting burnt. If you are comfortable, you can add in the chili and immediately add some water too. Either way, you need to ensure the chili powder doesn't burn or smoke.
  10. Now add the yogurt and Keep stirring the yogurt until it comes to a boil and homogenizes with the rest of the spice, And oil floats on top.
  11. Now add salt and all other spices to this mixture. Stir.
  12. Add about 2 1/2 cups of water. And bring to a rolling boil.
  13. Add in the fried potatoes.
  14. The potatoes should be just about submerged in water.
  15. Cook for fifteen minutes on medium heat; covered.
  16. Add the garam masala, sugar and cover and cook for another 4-5 min until the gravy thickens.
  17. Serve piping hot with White Rice , Dal and a Salad.


The prep time and cook time is approximate. It can change with size of the potatoes and the altitude at which you live. This is home recipe, and the times suggested are just guidelines.

Do add in more or less water based on your own estimate. And Do read the recipe a couple of times before attempting.