When it comes to food, my family is all about simplicity. This recipe is something that was handed to me silently by my grandmother. Actually, it was more of a watch-and-learn thing, where she would cook, I would watch. My grandmother could cut a potato in at least 20 different shapes, each assigned for a particular cooking procedure. It was very scientific, because she would explain why a cut appropriate for a dalna would not be apt for a jhol. Of course, my childhood was spent chopping potatoes, peeling carrots, shelling peas, and then, one fine day, I cooked something! And that was that!

Heat 2 tablespoon Mustard Oil in a heavy-bottomed vessel, and add a big pinch of panch phoron (a combination of whole seeds – fennel, fenugreek, nigella, black mustard, and randhuni seeds in my house) to it when the oil smokes. It is imperative that the oil smokes before adding the whole spices. Add half a teaspoon of sugar.

Then, add 2 potatoes, cut in about 1 inch pieces, 3 whole green chillies, and 1 cup of chopped cauliflower, cut in roughly the same size. Over high heat, fry for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, or until the potatoes and cauliflower florets lose a bit of their rawness.

Then add a big pinch of turmeric powder, and 1 cup of water. Let the water come to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the vessel, and leave the premises of the kitchen for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.

Once the potatoes are soft, add salt to taste, reduce the water to the point which you like. I like it slightly moist, but this is up to you.

In my household, this is served with hot rotis, luchi, paratha and even toasted white bread. As I said, simplicity is the key! 

Written by Poorna Banerjee

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