I started cooking when I was in my early teens and I am the kind who turns to the cookery pages in a magazine before looking at the other pages. I was also known among my friends and family as being someone with fairly decent culinary skills, so I was kind of surprised when after marriage my husband gave me feelers that I had a long way to go. What I soon realized was that he meant I still had a lot to learn about the cooking from his part of the country, the type of cooking he had grown up savouring. That of course was true…but I believe I have now come a fairly long way on that route too and now my hubby doesn’t mind me being a Mallu so much!!
Today I am posting about an ‘everyday’ dish. I really love ‘everyday’ dishes, the dishes which you don’t really get to sample in any restaurant, or any daawat … you only get to savour these if you land up unannounced in someone’s house or in perhaps your friend’s or colleagues lunch box. I believe these ‘everyday’ dishes are the real gems which give a cuisine its characteristic colour or flavour.
This is the recipe of ‘aloo ki bhujia’ not to be confused with the namkeen ‘aloo bhujia’. ‘Bhujia’ actually refers to a preparation method which is used with various vegetables like bhindi, ridge gourd, aloo with various combinations like peas, dill leaves, bitter gourd and bottle gourd.
Aloo ki bhujia with roti or aloo ki bhujia with dal-chawal and dhaniye ki chutney is akin to soul food for my husband something he looks forward to after a tiring day. This dish can be made using refined oil but the use of mustard oil takes this dish to an entirely different level…yes it makes it subliimme!
5 medium sized potatoes,
½ a small onion (sliced) – optional
2-3 red chillies (halved)
4-5 green chillies or as per taste (chopped),
A good handful of coriander leaves.
1 tbsp of mustard oil,
Salt to taste
Peel and halve the potatoes. Slice the halves longitudinally and reserve in cold water.
Heat the mustard oil till smoking and add the halved red chillies and let them turn dark brown. Now add the sliced onions (if using them) and once they turn translucent tip in the sliced potatoes and the green chillies. Sauté this for some time and add salt to taste and add water just a little more than required to cook the potatoes.
Cook till the potatoes are done and there is just a little water remaining. Turn off the heat and fold in the chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with rotis or dal-chawal and dhaniye ki chutney.
Some people also add a dash of turmeric powder for a different flavour.
Variation 1: With peas. Just add green peas along with the potatoes.
Variation 2: With dill leaves. Add dill leaves along with the potatoes and skip the coriander leaves.