There is a secret behind this dish,which I do not know. Only my mother in law does and that is why she makes the best version of it. There is also a memorable occasion reminiscence with this dish.
So the story goes … the girlfriend being introduced to the boyfriend’s family for the first time. Naturally, I put my best self forward but the winning brownie point was the most simple potato dish!
Meet the parents and the legendary potato dish
The first time I ate this dish was when I went for an introductory visit to my would-be in law’s house. There were the usual fancy north indian dishes like palak paneer, butter chicken, makhni dal, kadai paneer, raita, salad, chutneys and achaar. There was this plain potato dish that looked quite dull and bland. It looked like a good dish to complete a lavish spread.
Now since I was all about making a good first impression, I picked the dish that required the most effort to make. But my boyfriend-at-that-time served the potato dish first and was instantly all praises about it trumpeting it the best ‘sukhe aloo’ ever. To my surprise everyone at the table served that dish along with some more praises. Ok so now my plate was already full with all the fancy stuff, except the potato dish!
I was not so convinced about a simple aloo being overtaken by makhni dal, but I knew all eyes were on me, so I served myself – in the end – a little of this highly acclaimed dish. Still not so convinced, I started with all the other dishes and with praises for each. After all first impression does matter! And each dish was truly delicious. Finally I came to the potato. And it was simply the best. A bland looking potato dish without much masalas but still tasted so good. It had these little crispy bits that were like little busts of more flavour in the mouth. It was no doubt the best potato dish ever! And now I joined in with the praising and was well accepted into the family!
Now this dish is my husband’s favourite. We have been married for almost 9 years now and I have still not been able to crack it.
My mother in law always gives me an altered version of the recipe and is rather vague about it. I guess this is one of her secret recipes only for her son!
But after many attempts, I have now come up with my version, which my husband says is close enough.
So here is my version!
1. Potato – 4, boiled, peeled and roughly cubed into medium size pieces
2. Clarified butter (Ghee)- 3 tbsp
3. Asafoetida (Hing) – 1 tsp
4. Cumin powder (Jeera powder) – 1 tsp
5. Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
6. Dry mango powder (Amchoor powder) – 3/4th tsp
7. Chickpea flour (Besan) – 2 tbsp
8. Salt – 1tsp or to taste
1. Heat the clarified butter (ghee) in a pan. Allow the ghee to heat up really well.
2. Add asafoetida (hing) and let it sizzle in the hot ghee for a couple of seconds.
3. Now add the boiled and cubed potatoes. Toss the potatoes in the pan for a few minutes on high heat.
4. Next add all the other ingredients – red chilli powder, cumin powder (jeera powder), dry mango powder (amchoor) and salt to taste. Mix well with the potatoes.
5. Now, lower the heat. Cook the potatoes for 20 minutes on low hear. Stirring often in between so that they get evenly roasted.
6. After about 20 minutes, add the chickpea flour and mix well. Continue roasting the potatoes on low heat. Continue stirring but now very gently so that the soft potatoes do not mash up.
7. Once the raw taste of chickpea flour goes, increase the heat and roast for 1-2 minutes on high heat.
Serve with chapati and toor dal and enjoy!