Hope you all had lovely Diwali holidays.
As I was re organizing my book shelves, I have come acrossed few old cookery books purchased by my mother, yellowed pages, dog-eared and notes written on them with pencil. These envelop size cookbooks are written by none other than Tarla Dalal, the recipe queen of India who has created some 17000 odd recipes that never failed in the kitchen.
She might not reinvented the Indian cuisine or brought some new ideas to Indian cuisine the way Julia Child did with French cuisine when she introduced it to Americans, but she taught a North Indian how to make soft idlis and a south Indian how to make flaky stuffed parathas. Thus blurring out the geographical boundaries and let the people of this country to enjoy the food in a more different way, changed the kitchen staples and enliven the vegetarian cooking .
But what amazed me most is that her entrepreneurial skills that too in a times when Indian women remain confined between the walls of the house. Seeking a career and becoming an entrepreneur was beyond imagination in those days. She displayed a natural flair for business when she started her first cooking class or when she authored her first cook book, way back in 70’s. The lady with a charming smile, she inspired the Indian housewives to think beyond the kitchen, to explore the world beyond her four walls through different cuisines of our own country bringing close to other cultures, through her number of shows and cookbooks. The recipe queen of India who inspired millions of men and women to experience the culinary art.
With her an era in Indian cooking has come to an end. RIP Tarla Dalal.
Her recipes were so adaptive in nature, just like this casual dum aloo recipe, every house in India must have its own family version, yet we fell in love with this dish each and every time. Kolkattans waited every year with bated breath for winter to settle in. For a city like Kolkata which enjoys more seasonal products, than city like Bangalore, winter vegetable market becomes cynosure of all eyes. The clever potato seller wont tempt you with their heaps of baby potatoes, instead they will lure you with the most favourite dish – luchi / kochuri ar aloo r dum. The moment you hear them calling – ” Didi, luchi aloo dum khaben na, natun aloo niye jaan” ! Translated – ” Sister, wont you have luchi and dum aloo today, new potatoes have come, take them home” ! 😀
Now, tell me how can you resist that ? Even if you have not planned for it, yet you will happily fall into this delicious trap. Very clever marketing tactics I must admit.
So this dum aloo is little different than my regular dum aloo, it has more nutty paste and yogurt based sauce to be branded as “shahi dum aloo“. Remember, my early post on Koraishutir kochuri aka peas kachori ? They are the perfect partners with this dum aloo.
- Baby potatoes (par boiled and peeled) : 1 kg
- Almond paste : 1 tbsp
- Cashew paste : 3 tbsp
- Onion (small) : 1
- Ginger paste : 2 tsp
- Yogurt : ½ cup whipped
- Turmeric powder : ¼ tsp
- Garam masala powder : 1 tsp
- Red chilli powder / paste : ½ tsp
- Cumin powder : 1 tsp
- Salt and sugar to taste
- Oil : 2 tbsp
- Bay leaf : 2
- Cinnamon stick : 1
- Cardamom (green) : 2-3
- Cloves : 3-4
- Peel the onion, boil it and then make a paste of it.
- In a deep bottom pan, heat the oil, add the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and bay leaf.
- Let the aroma floats and then lightly fry the par boiled potatos in the oil til lthey absorb golden brownish hue.
- Remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon and keep them aside.
- Now in the same pan, add the onion paste, fry it till it turn its color, add the ginger paste, fry it further tll the rawness disappear.
- Add the spices, fry them for a while, followed by cashew and almond paste.
- Add the potatoes and coat them well with the masala.
- Saut them on medum heat till the masala oozes oil.
- Switch off the heat and let it cool for 2 minutes.
- Add the whipped yogurt, adjust the salt, switch on the heat again and let it cook on lowest heat for couple of minutes.
- Add one cup warm water, close the lid and let it simmer till done.
- It will have a clingy gravy.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro, if you wish to and serve hot with poori or kachoris.
You can enhance the flavour further with crushed garam masala and ghee just before serving.
Enjoy this shahi dum aloo this weekend and let me know how it turned out for you.
Happy cooking !