Saturday, August 1, 2015

Ajwaini Aloo Mirch - With Love from Mother

Potatoes are a sure favourite vegetable; but, I do not cook them so often as my husband might like them to be. He would go 7 days a week, 365 days a year on potatoes. Moreover, I think potatoes are such versatile vegetable that anyone will cook no fail recipes with potatoes. I do not share many potato recipes for the simple reason that I may not be making them any differently, worthy to make a post.
This recipe is an exception to my above idea. The other day Niv had shared a photograph of a diary, her late mother had maintained, to write down recipes that might be of interest to her daughter. It was a touching gesture that her aunt and uncle had saved that over these years and handed it to her recently. The diary, Niv says, was a sort of record that her mother maintained when she was too weak to cook. She had copied recipes from everywhere, magazines, television and cookbooks that may interest her daughter.

Picture used with permission from Nivedita -Her mother's recipe diary.

The said photograph had an open page that had part of one recipe and only the list of ingredients of another. There was a tiny note above the list mentioning that it is a dry curry strongly flavoured with carom seeds. It caught my attention as I happened to have on hand all of the ingredients listed there. I had to just roughly work the procedure to make it a dish. I tried it on the same evening and made a mental note of the changes that I would make. Later again for lunch, while I made a single pot dish, this curry was made, this time with my take on it.

We liked the flavour of the carom seeds and the crunch from the part cooked bell peppers. Since I did not add garlic and also omitted the tomato ketchup, I added two green chillis and some chilli powder. It was a winner recipe with the potatoes absorbing the flavours and the tomatoes cooked until just about coating the potatoes. It is a must try recipe and a keeper at that.

Ajwaini Aloo Mirch - A Dry Curry
(Adapted from Niv's Mother's Diary)

Serves 3
2 large potatoes
3 green bell peppers/ capsicums
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon carom seeds/ ajwain
5-6 cloves garlic (optional)
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
3 tomatoes/ about 250 grams - grind to a puree
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
2 slit green chillis (not in the above list found in the picture)
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup (optional; I have omitted)
Salt to taste
Fresh, chopped coriander leaves for garnish

Dice potatoes in slightly big chunks. Boil until you may be able to remove the peel. Toss the potatoes in some salt. Keep aside.
Cut the bell peppers in medium large pieces.
Puree the tomatoes and add to this the coriander powder, turmeric powder and garam masala powder.

Heat oil in a skillet and add the carom seeds. Then add the minced ginger and slit green chillis.
Drop the green peppers and toss them in oil for a few minutes. Do not over cook them so as to loose the crunch.
Add the potatoes and cook further so the carom seeds are coating the potatoes.
Pour the tomato puree in and adjust the salt to desired level. Cook the curry until the tomato puree has coated a dry layer over the vegetables.
I have not used garlic in this recipe. If you like to, you may add it along the chillis and ginger and toss them in oil. If using tomato ketchup, add it along with the puree and cook until almost dry.
Enjoy this as a side dish for rotis and phulkas.
I made a rice dish with chick peas masala and served this curry as a dry side dish for the same.

The above recipe makes a sumptuous serving for two and an extra serving for the potato loving man.


  1. you brought me to tears with this post Lata!.. Made my day! thank you!

  2. this potato curry does look very super delicious and inviting.

  3. I have my mother's recipe book too. But a lot of the recipes are in Kannada since Konkani does not have a script. Those in English, I have followed and made. A real tribute to Nivedita's mother. And I like the flavour of ajwain. Will give it a try.

  4. Beautiful shot with the pan on the log.


Welcome and thank you for taking time to drop by.
I appreciate your valuable comments and tips.
I sincerely hope to improve with them.
Hope we shall interact often.
Thanks once again,
Lata Raja.