Dilled Celery Root and Potatoes

Celery root is an ugly, gnarly-looking root vegetable. It tastes like celery, although the root and stalks are not cultivated from the same varieties. It’s tasty, lower carb than potatoes, and you can eat it either raw or cooked. This recipe calls for cooking. Remember, you have to cut away the peel, so you won’t get much out of each root. Buy the smaller ones with fresh green tops, no slime, and they should not be green.

You need:

  1. 1 celery root, chopped into 1/4″ pieces (see note)
  2. 2 medium-sized potatoes like Yukon Gold, chopped into 1/4″ pieces
  3. 3/4 cup vegetable stock (you can use water if you don’t have any broth or stock)
  4. 1 tbsp finely chopped dill
  5. 4-5 green onions
  6. Salt to taste
  7. A pinch of Chinese five spice (optional)

How to:

  1. Cut the green leafy parts off the green onions. Chop the whites finely (remember to discard the root end).
  2. Heat a little oil in a non-stick pan. (I use Cuisinart’s hard anodized cookware and don’t actually need the oil).
  3. Add the chopped onions (white parts only) and cook for 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add the celery root and potatoes and stir.
  5. Add the salt and five spice and stir.
  6. When it starts to stick to the bottom, add the stock or water and stir well. Be careful not to break the vegetables.
  7. Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender but not mushy.
  8. While it it cooking, finely chop the onion greens and the dill. Do not cut the dill up too much, as it will then lose its smell.
  9. Once the vegetables are tender, add the onion greens and dill and stir. Take off the heat.

You can eat this over rice, with chapattis, or stuffed into a pita. I ate it just by itself, with some yogurt.

Note: To prepare celery root, wash it well. Scrub with a vegetable brush. Cut off the top and root ends, about 1/2″ on each side. Using a sharp knife, cut away the peel. You could use a peeler, but it might be more difficult. Rinse, wipe dry, and now it’s ready to use. It’s a little tough to cut, so be careful.



Beet and Potato Cutlets

I got the idea of combining beets and potatoes from one of Tarla Dalal’s recipes. She uses them to make koftas for curry. But I’m not a big fan of the koftas, and the idea of cutlets sounded real good to me. So here’s my version, which was super tasty.

You need: 1 cup grated beets (beetroot); 1 cup boiled and mashed potatoes; 1 cup breadcrumbs; 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste; 1/2 tsp red chili powder (cayenne); 1/2 tsp garam masala; 1 Hungarian hot wax pepper or other mild pepper (optional); salt to taste (about 3/4 of a tsp is what I would do); 1/2 cup yogurt or sour cream; 1 tbsp chopped dill.

How to:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix all the ingredients except the breadcrumbs in a bowl.
  3. Add enough breadcrumbs to give it enough texture that you can form it into patties (cutlets). You might have to add a little bit at a time, mix it all together, and try to form a cutlet.
  4. How to make a cutlet: pull up a little of the mixture in your hands. Say, about the size of a table-tennis ball. Roll it into a ball. Flatten it gently with your hands until it is about 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick.
  5. If you cannot do this, follow these instructions: If the mash is too sticky, add a little more breadcrumbs and try again. If the mash is too dry (the cutlets have cracks) add some water, a very little bit at a time, and try again. You could also just use a burger press, if you have one.
  6. Once you make your cutlets, place them on a greased oven-proof cookie sheet or in an oven-proof baking dish, and bake for 20 minutes, or until the outside of the cutlets forms a firm crust. Flip them over halfway through (at about 10 minutes).
  7. Mix the dill with the yogurt or sour cream and top the cutlets with it.

We froze these in ziploc bags for about a couple of weeks, and they were fine.

Aloo Chard (Potatoes with Chard)

We’ve had a huge number of tomatoes from our Early Girl plant, and we’ve been trying to figure out what to do with them. Curry vegetables can always use tomatoes, so that was our first idea. We also had quite a bit of chard from our garden, and wanted to use it before the rabbits got to it. And we also had harvested a couple of cayenne peppers. Traditionally, potatoes are cooked with spinach, but I thought chard would be fun. The stems on chard are so crunchy, and rainbow chard is so pretty! So we cooked the potatoes with chard instead.

You need: 4-5 medium potatoes; 4-5 medium tomatoes; 1 big bunch chard (10-15 leaves); 1 medium red onion; 1-2 hot peppers such as cayenne, or other green chilies to taste; 1/2 tsp garam masala; 1 tsp jeera (cumin seeds); 2 tbsp oil; salt to taste. Oh, and a rather large pot to cook it in.

How to:

1. Cut the potatoes, onions, and tomatoes (separately) into 1/2″ pieces.

2.Slice open the peppers and discard the seeds.

3. Heat the oil. Add the cumin and chili peppers.

4. Add the onions and stir.

5. After about 1-2 minutes, add the potatoes. Stir and cover.

6. Stir occasionally. If it sticks to the bottom, add 1/4 cup water.

7. Wash the chard. Cut the stems into 1/2″ pieces and the leaves into long ribbons. Keep them separate and set aside.

8. Add the tomatoes, salt, garam masala, and chard stems to the potatoes. Stir well and cover.

9. When the potatoes are almost done (softened but not mushy), and the tomatoes are mushy, add the chard leaves. Like so: add a handful, stir in, let them wilt, add another handful, and so on until you’ve used them all up.

10. Cover and cook until the potatoes are done.

Eat hot over rice, bread, or with roti or naan.

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.