As you know, potatoes are my favourite favourite thing to eat. And to cook with. They are so versatile and make almost everything better!
This version of potatoes was a staple in my house growing up. By staple I mean we pretty much ate it a few times a week. At least.
What Bengalis typically call ‘Aloo Bhaja’ is more like aloo lachcha – small juliennes of potato, fried off and used as a garnish or a little side. But in our house, Aloo Bhaja was something completely different. So, my Bengali foodies, apologies if you got confused. But for me, this will always be aloo bhaja!
It is such a simple dish yet leaves you feeling like you have just had the most delicious, filling meal ever! Whenever I go home now, I always ask for this to be made for me. This and mangsho (mutton curry). If there was one meal that I could eat often (and I don’t like repeating meals often) it would be aloo bhaja, yellow dal with tadka and rice, with a squeeze of lemon on top. BEST EVER. Trust me, it will give you the most warm, I-am-at-home-and-happy feeling you can imagine. Simplicity at its best.
When I first made this for my husband, I asked my help at home exactly how she made it. The recipe is so simple, I wasn’t sure it could be just that. But when I made it and tasted it, I let out this massive cheer! The husband looked quite amused at the fact that getting such an easy dish right would give me such joy. The joy came from the fact that I had managed to replicate a childhood favourite, a go-to comfort food and a source of such happy memories 🙂 It was totally worth it! Now the husband quite likes this dish too 🙂 (YAY!)
Go ahead, try it. Enjoy the waves of nostalgia and comfort that will wash over you 🙂
8 potatoes – cut into rectangles
2 tsp cumin (jeera) seeds
3 slit green chillies
1/4 tsp turmeric (haldi) powder
1 tbsp mustard oil
salt to taste
- Peel and cut the potatoes into rectangles. Soak them in water so they don’t brown. You can choose to parboil them till they are slightly cooked in case you wan’t to reduce the cooking time.
- In a pan, heat the oil. Once hot, add the cumin seeds and green chillies.
- Once they splutter, add the potatoes, turmeric and salt. Mix well.
- On low to medium heat, cover the potatoes and cook for about 20-30 minutes till they are cooked through. Keep stirring every 5 minutes so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Serve with dal and rice. Or puris and pickle. Or eat this just as is (I do that quite often :))