This was the first Indian food I ever ate and it became a favourite with family and friends.
This type of dish is very common throughout India. Our recipe for a dry potato and pea curry, sukha aloo matar, is from New Delhi in the north of India. It is a simple dish where par-boiled potatoes are fried in tempered oil, then the peas are added.
This is a dish that is best kept simple if other dishes are being served. If, however, you are serving this on it’s own, just with roti or rice, then you might increase the spices. I find that extra Kashmiri chilli powder, or a garnish of a finely sliced red chilli works well.
The only unusual ingredient in this recipe is the dried mango powder, or amchur. This spice adds a tangy flavour to the finished dish. It is readily avalable from Indian grocers or spice merchants.
My Grandmother’s notes include many, many potato recipes. Given how common this introduced vegetable is in Indian cuisine and the love the Raj had for it, is no surprise. If you want a similar, but moister dish, try the potato, pea and tomato recipe.
- 400 g potatoes peeled and cut into 1.5cm cubes
- 2 tsp salt
- 1½ tsp cumin seeds toasted and ground
- 1½ tsp coriander seeds toasted and ground
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp dried mango powder (amchur)
- ½ tsp asafoetida powder
- ½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- 2 tbsp gingelly oil
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
- 150 g peas
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp coriander leaves finely chopped
Place the potatoes and salt in boiling water. Boil until just cooked but still firm inside when tested with a skewer. This will take around ten minutes. Drain water from pan, then lightly shake the pan to fluff up the edges of the potatoes.
Place cooked potato, ground cumin and coriander, turmeric, amchur, asafoetida and chilli powder in a bowl. Toss well to cover potatoes evenly.
In a heavy-based pan, heat the oil and add the mustard, whole cumin and fenugreek seeds and cook until sizzling.
Add the potato and stir gently to coat in the oil. Fry potato for around five minutes, or until golden and crisp.
Whilst the potaoes are frying, put the peas in a small bowl of boiling water. When the potatoes are cooked, drain the peas, add to the potato and gently combine. Fry for another minute.
Stir in the sesame seeds and chopped coriander. Toss to coat potatoes and peas completely. Serve
- Amchur, or dried mango powder, is readily available from Indian grocers.