Jhaal Aloo Dum (Spicy Potato)

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I like to call it ‘Baba’r Jhaal Jhaal Aloo’ (Dad’s spicy potato) since this was my dad’s speciality. The Mukherjee family, like most Bengali families, loved potatoes (still do) and had it for pretty much every meal. So to break monotony, we had multiple recipes and variations to cook this drool worthy vegetable. This one is by far one of my favorite recipes. It goes best with fresh, straight off the griddle, fulka/chapati,  vegetable pulao or peas pulao.

Family dinners was a big part of growing up, sitting together sharing a meal and talking about our day over delicious food and on Wednesdays watching Chitrahaar (when I was really young, and cable tv was still not popular). My mom was the main chef of our household, but every now and then my dad would whip up something delish. Dad with his favorite drink ‘Old Monk Rum’, mom, my sister and me with our glasses of lime juice cordial, working together to get dinner served. Being the youngest, I always got stuck with setting the table and my sister with cleaning after because I was too young to do it right (even when I was 15). I really liked being the youngest!

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It calls for the most basic ingredients, but here’s my preference:

  1. I like to use Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder (Everest brand) because of the rich red color it adds
  2. I use plum tomatoes because they have less seed, more meat and disintegrate really quick creating a rich creamy base.

Time for Prep: 10 mins     Time to Cook: 20 mins     Yield: 4-5 Servings     Level: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 baby potatoes, boiled
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 4-5 green chili pepper, slit
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp cilantro chopped
  • a genrous pinch of asefoetida (optional)

Process:

  1. Heat a the oil in a pan/wok in low-medium heat setting, add cumin and let it roast till you smell the aroma.
  2. Add chopped tomatoes, slit green chill pepper and salt, cover with lid and let cook for 4-5 mins.
  3. Add chill, coriander and turmeric powder. Stir them in and let cook for another 5 mins. Add a little water at this stage if needed.
  4. Cut the boiled potatoes into half (This is optional you can leave them whole too. I like cutting them because I like smaller pieces) and add them to the tomato gravy.
  5. Cook for 3-4 mins (without cover) or till the gravy thickens and there is just enough to coat the potatoes.
  6. Add asafoetida and cook for 30 seconds more.
  7. Remove from heat and garnish with the chopped cilantro.

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