Dahi Wale Aloo

Mallika Basu - Dahi Wale Aloo

Posted 14th November 2012

The kids are growing. The family home is sorted. So, inevitably the plans for global domination took centre stage again.

I have a new job people. In a ginormous communications consultancy. Just in time for Diwali.

Having children not so much led me to slip down the corporate ladder, as caused me to borderline fall off it entirely. Albeit briefly. So much stuff about the glass ceiling, the nappy wall, yada yada yada. My experience is that if you want to be treated equally, you have to act equally. In the workplace, this means few concessions. Sad. But true.

On the upside, the kids are totally worth it. I also get free toast before 9:00am, there’s a bar downstairs and my new colleagues are quite intrigued by my Indian cooking avatar. In the hope they will be invited to many feasts, no doubt.

I have stormed in and started cracking all manner of whips. While keeping schtum about my TV debut tomorrow in Episode 10 of Maddhur Jaffrey’s Curry Nation. This is, frankly, terrifying. I’ll be hiding under the couch in good time, with some cuddly toys for company and a glass of something cold and alcoholic for my nerves.

Just like I survived all those hideously loud firecrackers during my childhood in Kolkata. It’s all come full circle, see?

Here’s my feast for a year with great things ahead. For all you lovely people. Marking new beginnings and new ventures. A fully vegetarian meal to keep the tone auspicious and served with copious quantities of alcohol: Chana Masala, Kashmiri Paneer, Dahi Wale Aloo, Vegetable Pulao and Coconut Laddoos. I’ll share the Dahi Wale Aloo recipe, a sublime potato curry which was a staple Diwali lunch with Pooris at my Marwari friend’s Diwali day kitchen in Kolkata.

Happy Diwali everyone!

Feeds 8-10:

1 kg white potatoes

2 tbsp oil

Half tsp asafoetida

4 dry red chillies

2 tsp paprika/Kashmiri mirch

2 tsp whole cumin

250gm Greek yoghurt/hung curd

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 inch ginger

15gm fresh coriander

Wash, peel and cut the potatoes into bite-sized cubes. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil, then cook gently for about 15 minutes until you can stick a fork into the pieces, with some difficulty. Grate the ginger while the potatoes are boiling.

Place a sieve over a pot and drain the potatoes in it, collecting the nutritious water. Take the heaving sieve off the pot and leave the potato water to cool down. In the meantime, wipe the pot you boiled the potatoes in well and bring the oil to heat in it on high. When it starts spluttering, toss in the asafoetida (heeng), then the chillies, cumin and ginger and quick succession.

As the ginger starts taking a golden colour, toss in the turmeric and paprika, then the potatoes and stir once until everything is well coated. Lower the heat to simmer.

Then, whisk the yoghurt into the cooler potato water and pour this mixture into the potatoes. Simmer gently, for about 10 minutes until oil oozes to the top, mashing a third of the cooked potatoes to the edges of the pot to create a thicker curry texture. Chop the fresh coriander and mix it into the potatoes to finish.

This potato curry is delicious mopped up with hot pooris or spooned into pulao. It tastes even better a day later too!

8 responses to “Dahi Wale Aloo”

  1. Great looking recipe, thanks, and I love the post. Good luck with your new job and with Madhur – I’ve long been one of her many fans. Very exciting!

  2. Lavanya says:

    I have long been following your blog- watched your tv debut- awesome:)

    you are going places and so deserve your well earned success:)

    good luck

  3. KP says:

    Searched for your website after seeing you on Madhur Jaffery’s curry nation. You have nothing to be embarassed about – you came across fabulously. Looking forward to trying some of your recipes.

  4. Ann says:

    Congratulations, Mallika! So much to celebrate — a new job, your TV DEBUT??? You buried the lead!! I can’t wait to see Curry Nation — is it available in the States???

    This potato recipe sounds fabulous and exotic (to me). Can’t wait to try it!

  5. Jayanti Basu Roy says:

    Hi Mallika, I honestly see myself in you. Studying in a university in Singapore away from homes in Kolkata, I too find great solace whipping up traditional meals in my hall pantry. I am really inspired by your love for cooking and bringing back childhood memories through whatever’s available in the unknown land. 😉
    Just letting you know, you have a successor maybe? Haha
    Lots of love

  6. I was checking my blogroll links to see who was still active. Glad to see you still sharing tasty recipes, and congrats on your good news!

  7. farah says:

    Hi i have just come across the picture above and wanted to know how you managed to get the rice to form like that? The presentation is beautiful

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