Main ingredient: these dish’s main ingredient is potato (aloo). Potatoes are a major source of potassium (higher concentrations than in bananas) and vitamin C; they are cholesterol-free, and fat and sodium free, are carbohydrate-rich, and an excellent source of vitamin C. When prepared in healthy ways (minimal to no oil basting or frying) and moderate quantities, they are said to not be harmful to weight loss regimes.
Taste description & background:
The combination of firm, almost crunchy texture of the potato presented as slices, and delicious seasoning make this dish, which is amongst my top favourites, always highly popular with both my Nepali and non-Nepali/Western friends, when I cook it. It is really moreish and can be eaten on its own, or be a popular alternative to traditional vegetable curry, with bhat (boiled rice) and dal – bhat. I learned it from a friend who worked as main chef at a restaurant in Thamel, Kathmandu, and have since experimented with some aspects of the main options of seasonings.
Quantity: Serves 2 people two times, or four people for one occasion.
Time taken on creating dish: to prepare and cook takes about 30 minutes (15 to 20 for boiling potatoes, 5 minutes for other ingredients preparation, and a further 5 – 10 minutes for cooking).
- Chopping board
- Bowls for mixing and setting aside
- Frying pan
- Knives for preparing ingredients
- Spatula or wooden cooking spoon for stirring
- Small to medium sized boiled Potatoes – shredded in slices, with potato lightly boiled, still firm/semi hard (NOT soft)
- 2 – 3 tablespoons of oil (vegetable or extra virgin olive)
- 1 chopped brown onion
- 1 – 1.5 fresh, finely sliced birds eye chilis
- 1 medium finely chopped tomato
- 1.5 – 1.5 cube of finely chopped ginger
- Chilli powder — to taste
- Some white sesame seeds
- Some fenugreek seeds (Methi) — optional
- ½ a tablespoon of turmeric
- Salt — to taste
- Fresh Lemon to squeeze – optional, and can be used by the person eating the cooked dish
Boil potatoes, but take out whilst still quite firm (the cooking will be completed once they are in the frying pan).
Then slice the potatoes (still firm and part cooked) into shreds. Chop onion and tomato, and slice finely the fresh chili, then heat oil in pan and introduce the seasonings (methi, sesame seeds, chili powder), then onion, chili and tomato, and finally the potatoes.
Cook in frying pan, gently stirring, for five minutes, adding salt to taste: the dish is now ready, and you can add a squeeze of lemon if you wish.