Dahi waale aaloo (Potatoes with buttermilk)

Dahi waale aaloo or chach vaale aaloo ki sabzi or boiled potatoes cooked with buttermilk is a traditional Rajasthani cuisine. Rain was scarce in Rajasthan till few years back. So getting vegetables was very difficult, specially during summer. Therefore, people invented a few dishes so that they don’t get affected due to lack of rain and could taste variety. One such dish Mangodi ki subzi  is already in the blog. Dahi ke aaloo is another such interesting dish where curry is prepared with buttermilk and along with regular spices boiled potatoes are added.

Curd is such a simple ingredient but you can create veritable dishes with it. I love using curd in my savoury dishes for regular meals like raita, sabzi or Besan ki kadi. The best part about Dahi ke aaloo is that it doesn’t require onion, garlic or even tomatoes. So you can have it during your one-time fasting meals.

Ingredients :

5 medium sized boiled potatoes
Curd 300 gm
3 cups water

Oil 2 tbsp
Jeera (cumin) 1/4 tsp
Rai 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida powder 1/8 tsp

Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder 1 tbsp +1 tsp
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Green chillies chopped 2
3 tbsp water
Salt as per your taste

Garam masala powder 1 tsp
Oil 1 tsp
Dry red chillies 2
Chopped green coriander leaves

Process

Wash, boil, peel and mash potatoes in medium chunks and keep them aside in a bowl.

In a separate bowl churn curd nicely and add three cups of water and churn it again for a homogeneous mix (this is how we prepare buttermilk (chach) in India).

Heat 2 tbsp oil and splutter rai, jeera and asafoetida (hing) in a wok. Add red chilli, coriander and turmeric powder and chopped green chillies followed by 3 tbsp water. On sim heat let the masala get cooked for 5 minutes. Stir in between to avoid burning.

Once masala is cooked take out 1 tbsp out of it and keep it separate to be used later.

Add buttermilk in the wok once oil can be seen on the sides of masala. Increase the heat to high and keep stirring this mixture with quick movements until it starts boiling. Fast speed stirring is very important as otherwise buttermilk will curdle (phat jayega).

When buttermilk starts boiling, add mashed potatoes along with the salt.

Now reduce the heat to sim and let it cook for half an hour. It can be cooked on medium heat for 15 minutes but I like curries or gravies to be cooked on sim heat. Slow cooking enhances the flavor of dish.

Switch off the gas after half an hour and add garam masala powder and chopped green coriander leaves. Dahi ke aaloo or potatoes cooked in buttermilk are ready!!

Remember we had kept a little quantity of masala separate. We will use it now. Heat 1 tsp oil and roast dry red chillies in it for half a minute and add masala.  Just before serving pour this in dahi waale aaloo and impress your guests and family members!!

 

 

Aalu ki kachori

Whenever at my parent’s house my maternal uncles used to visit us, my mother used to prepare proper UP (Uttar Pradesh) style food. There will be poori, dry potatoes veggie (which used to look like pickle because of extra oil and extra spices) one curry, curd with sugar or boondi ka raita and aalu ki kachori….. and sweet – that my uncles always used to bring, so mother never bothered to prepare.

This whole food served in steel thali (big size plate with edges) used to look so delicious that I always used to think that uncle’s visit should be more often 😋.

Among this whole platter my favorite used to be ‘aalu ki kachori’. I have never tasted such wonderful kachori in any restaurant till now.

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Before marriage I had never attempted to prepare them independently, actually I never dared to do, because I didn’t want to go through a disastrous attempt. But after marriage as we all do many experiments with food in kitchen, I too tried kachori. Taste was very good but a few of them tore and potato filling came out during frying.

Slowly over the years I continued making them and proudly can say that now I can fry every single kachori in perfect shape!!!!!!

Mother’s recipes and tips are always perfect despite the fact that they used to prepare everything with their guess work!!

 

Ingredients

For preparing dough….

Wheat flour 2+1/2 cups
Salt 3/4 tsp
Carom seeds 1 tsp
Oil 2 +1/2 tbsp
Rava 1+1/2 tbsp (optional)
Water 1 cup +1/4 cup

Potato masala :

Boiled Potatoes
Dry mango powder, garam masala, salt, red chilli powder, asafoetida, chopped green chillies, finely chopped green coriander leaves(optional) and grated ginger(optional).

Oil, to fry

Tips :

1.   We have to knead slightly loose dough than our regular chapati dough. Loose dough will be easy to roll with stuffed potato mix.

2.   If you are feeling that the quantity of water is making dough very loose, then you can reduce some amount of water.

3.   Adding rava adds extra crunch to kachori  but if you don’t have, comfortably leave it.

4.   Make sure that coriander leaves have no water in them, otherwise potato mix will be soggy and it will make rolling difficult. Also, mix will seep out while rolling and frying.

5.  After boiling, keep potatoes in a strainer for some time so that all water drains out. Soggy boiled potatoes are not good for filling.

6.  Do not prepare potato mixture 2-3 hours in advance. Salt in mixture will turn it soggy.

7.  If you are preparing kachori first time, fry one kachori at a time, gain confidence and slowly you can do 2-3 at a time.

Process:

Take wheat flour, salt, carom seeds, rava in a broad pan to prepare the dough. Add oil and mix everything together.

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Now start adding water to knead and prepare slightly loose dough. Cover it with a damp cloth and keep it aside.

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Peel and mash potatoes and add all spices as per your taste along with chopped green chillies, coriander leaves and grated ginger. Mix everything together and potato mix is ready.

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Start heating oil in a deep pan. During the time oil is getting hot we can start the preparation of filling and rolling kachori.

Take some amount of dough and prepare it like a smooth ball between your palms and roll it little bit with the help of rolling pin . If dough is sticky, use oil to grease your palms and at rolling surface.

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Now add small amount of potato mix on the slightly rolled dough.

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From the edges start collecting the dough with your fingers, bring it at the center, close it and pat it down lightly.

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If required, again grease rolling surfer with oil and very gently roll stuffed dough carefully and evenly from all sides. Evenly rolled kachori will puff up nicely. Be careful that potato mix should not come out while rolling.

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By now oil is hot enough for frying. Make sure that oil is not very hot  otherwise kachori will remain raw from inside. You can check the right temperature of oil by putting a tiny piece of dough in it. If it sinks in the bottom of the pan, oil is not hot enough to fry. If dough becomes brown immediately after adding into the oil , it’s too hot. With experience you will learn!!

Now gently slip kachori from the side of the pan and fry it by turning upside down gently a couple of times till it becomes brown and crisp.

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Sometimes while frying kachori might open up and stuffing can seep out. It happens if you have rolled kachori very thin or it is overstuffed with potato mixture. Don’t panic, take out that damaged kachori and all that stuffing which is floating on oil with laddle and continue frying the rest of the kachoris.

Serve hot kachoris with your choice of chutney, sauce or dips!!

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Pyaaz ke pakode(crispy onion bhajji)

Pyaaj ke karare pakode
(crispy onion bhajji)

I have a very interesting story regarding how I learned to prepare these crispy onion bhajji!!! In North India “bhajji” word is not used. You prepare bhajji with potatoes, onion, green chillies or cauliflower…. the word is “pakoda.”

After my marriage I came to Chennai and here I got introduced to the word bhajji. After 10 months staying in Chennai we went to Jamaica. There was an Indian restaurant named Akbar. As an appetizer onion bhajji used to be served. It used to be less oily, and unlike onion pakode, crispy fried slices of onion wrapped with less flour used to be served. We used to enjoy them thoroughly and I always wondered how do they manage to use such less flour and have every slice separate without getting stuck with each other. I tried to replicate at home but failed miserably.

Three years later when when we were settled down in Bangalore, Manish and I were watching Sanjeev Kapoor’s show on TV and there he was cooking the same onion bhajji!!! We both jumped with joy to see the whole process and next weekend this onion bhajji was part of our breakfast!!!!
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Ingredients :
Onions
Oil for frying
Gram flour
salt

Process :
Peel onions and wash them nicely. Chop them vertically in long stripes.
You really need to chop a lot of onions here so take help from your family members…
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Add salt as per your taste in these chopped onion and mix nicely. Now let these salted onions rest for 20-30 minutes.

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During this resting period salt will melt and onions will be wet.

Now start sprinkling gram flour (besan) 1 tbsp at a time on these wet salty onion. We are not going to add water here, so use that much gram flour only which gets mixed with wet onions.

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Heat oil in a deep pan and fry the onion and besan mix. As there is less flour wrapped around onions, bhajjis wouldn’t absorb much oil during frying.

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Serve hot onion bhajji with your choice of chutney or sauce!!!

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Stuffed Brinjals/Eggplant/Aubergines

 

Are you bored of cooking plain brinjal vegetable? Try them in stuffed form….. you will sure start liking this vegetable again!!!!! With plain paratha, roti or side dish for rice, stuffed brinjal will enhance the flavor of your meal!!!
(Pardon the picture quality of ready stuffed brinjals, had guests in the house and I was feeling awkward to take pictures at the right frame).

Ingredients :

Small size brinjals
Oil
Spices : coriander powder, red chilli powder,turmeric powder  salt, a pinch of asafoetida (hing), garam masala, dry mango powder (amchoor), grinded fennel seeds(kuti hui sauf)

Process :

Wash and dry brinjals.

 

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Now collect all spices in a bowl and add one or two tsp oil in it and mix everything together.

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Cut brinjal horizontally and vertically – But make sure not to cut all the way, that is from end-to-end.

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Fill in little quantity of spices mix in the gaps – both horizontally and vertically.

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Heat one non stick or heavy bottomed  pan and pour 4-5 spoons of oil in it. Place all spices filled brinjals in it.

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Reduce the heat to sim, cover the pan and let them cook on sim flame

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Keep on turning  brinjals upside down for even cooking till they become tender from all sides.

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Serve with roti, nan, plain paratha or rice!

 

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