Aloo Gobi (Cauliflower with Potato) and Aloo Mattar (Potato with Peas)

Another old favorite!

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20-30 minutes

You need: 2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled or not, cut into 1/4″ cubes; 1 medium-sized cauliflower cut into florets (or 1/2 packet frozen florets); 1/2 tsp each of haldi (turmeric powder) and lal mirch (red chili powder); 1 tsp dhania (coriander) powder; 3-5 curry leaves (kadipatta); 1-2 sabut lal mirch (dried red chilies, optional); salt to taste

How to: Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the jeera, curry leaves, and dried red chilies to it. Turn the heat down to medium-high. When the jeera starts to sputter, add the powdered spices and stir quickly to prevent them from burning. Immediately add the potatoes and salt and stir well. Add the cauliflower and stir again. Add 1/4 cup water, cover, and let it cook until done (potatoes should be soft all the way through and cauliflower should be easy to cut with a spoon). Turn off the heat. Eat with rice or roti, or with yogurt for a really nice flavor.

Variation: Aloo Mattar: replace the cauliflower with one cup fresh or frozen peas.


Aloo-shimla mirch sabzi (Potato-bell pepper vegetable)


We ate this last night and I have to say, it was damn good. This is an experiment that worked. Mostly, I think, because it only marginally varied from tried-and-true aloo-shimla mirch sabzi.

You need: 2 medium-sized potatoes, diced; 2 medium-sized bell peppers (capsicums), diced; 2-3 curry leaves; 2 dried red chili; 1 tsp jeera (cumin seed); 1/2 tsp each of turmeric, red chili powder, and ground coriander; 1/2 tsp poppy seeds; 1/2 tsp urad dal; 1/2 a small onion, finely chopped; salt to taste; 3 tbsps oil

How to: Heat the oil in a stockpot. Add (in this order): cumin seeds, dried red chili, curry leaves, urad dal, turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder. Stir. Add onion and let it cook for less than a minute. Add the potatoes and salt. Add the poppy seeds. Stir well. Give it the occasional stir and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the peppers, sprinkle a little water over the top, stir well, and cover. Open now and again and give it a stir. Cook till the potatoes are done to your satisfaction.

Edit: Okay, I know most people might not have poppy seeds (khus-khus?) in their kitchen, and it’s really optional. But if you have them, they add a wonderful and subtle flavor.


Podimaas is my favorite way to eat potatoes. It’s mashed potatoes, basically, but the quintessentially South Indian spices have a heady flavor of home. Reminds me of my mom and my grandmother.

You need: 3-4 medium-sized potatoes; 1/2 tsp methi dana (fenugreek seeds); 1/2 tsp dhania dana (coriander seeds); 1/2 tsp mustard seeds; 1 dried red chili; 1 tbsp kadipatta (curry leaves); 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp red chili powder; 1/2 tsp coriander powder; 1 cup chopped cilantro (dhania patta); 1 tsp lemon juice; salt to taste; oil
How to: Boil the potatoes with salt and turmeric. They should be soft, as for mashed potatoes. Mash them roughly – they don’t need to be finely mashed.

In the meantime, heat the oil; add everything except the potatoes, cilantro and lemon juice. Give it a stir, let it sputter. Add the mashed potatoes. Stir well. Turn off the heat and add the cilantro and lemon juice. Mix well.

I usually eat it with rice and dal or some such thing, but there’s no reason why it can’t go in sandwiches or substitute for a duller potato salad.

Aloo sandwiches

The OH and I did some impulse buying – a waffle iron and a sandwich maker.

I made aloo (potato) sandwiches. They turned out fine, and here’s how.

1. Boil a potato (I used a big one, so only one) in salted water.

2. Cook some peas (I microwave, but you could boil or steam).

3. Mash together.

4. Heat oil. Add mustard seeds, 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp chili powder, curry leaves (shredded), let cook a wee bit, add potato-pea mixture, stir well.

5. Prepare bread for sandwich maker. Use aloo filling, and enjoy.

It was really really good. Made me mom-sick. Oh, and for leftovers, try making the potato mash into patties and baking. Eat with cilantro chutney.