This is a guest post by Soma Chowdhury. She is pursuing her MS from Louisiana State University. This post talks about a Bengali recipe, albeit with a twist from Soma. We thank her for the contributing here. Today being International Women’s Day, we dedicate today’s post to all our women readers.
Men, your turn will come too. 🙂
In the United States, almost everything is available throughout the year. Very few things are seasonal. I remember my Mom waiting for winter when she had a greater choice of vegetables to cook.
Back in India, winter is so colorful with lots of greens, oranges, reds and many more. The cauliflowers, cabbages, new baby potatoes, carrots, ripe-juicy oranges used to taste extra good during winter. During my childhood all these were only ones available during winter in my small town (though you can find them in the vegetable market anytime of the year now but they don’t taste as fresh as the winter time).
I cooked new baby potatoes as a winter vegetable for the monthly mingle as I love these potatoes. They taste so good, even you can eat them boiled with only salt and pepper sprinkled on them. There are many recipes on dum aloo in India; I think every household has their own recipe.
My Mom cooks several kinds too. In Bengali culture, anything cooked with onion or garlic becomes “non-veg”, so there are a lot of recipes without them and they are considered to be “complete veg” or “niramish”. It might sound a little strange, but that’s how it is.
This is my own recipe, modified from my mom’s recipes. My mother used to cook “niramish alur dom” (vegetarian potato curry) on Saturdays (as we ate veg on every Saturday) or during some religious festivals. Hope you will like the humble yet tasty recipe. The spices are approximate, you can modify them according to your taste.
What you need:
- 2 lbs baby potato, boiled and peeled
- One big, ripe tomato chopped
- One/two tablespoon of yogurt (depending on how sour you want it)
- Ginger/cumin/coriander (GCC) paste two tablespoon
- Red chili powder (add according to taste)
- Green peas (half a cup)
- Few green chilies
- One teaspoon turmeric
- One teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- A pinch of garam masala (optional)
- A handful of cilantro leaves
- One cup of water
How to cook Natun Alur Dom
- Apply salt and turmeric powder to the cooked potatoes. Heat oil in a pan and fry the potatoes until the outside is a little brownish. Don’t overcook them, they will start breaking. Remove them from the oil.
- In the remaining oil, add the cumin seeds and let them splutter.
- Add the GCC paste, turmeric and chili powder, sauté for few minutes and then add the chopped tomatoes. Sauté until the tomatoes are completely mushy and the spice paste starts coming out of the pan.
- Add luke-warm water and salt and boil until the tomato loses its raw taste.
- Let the gravy thicken and then add the potatoes. Mix the potato with the gravy. Again, do not mix them vigorously, then might break.
- Add the green peas, garam masala and chopped cilantro.
- Cover for few minutes and serve hot with puri or chapattis. It tastes better the next day as the potatoes absorb the flavor from the gravy.
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