Jun 4, 2009

Udipi style aloo sabzi (potato sabzi)

As a singe girl living in Mumbai, India, I used to love to eat in Udipis and Madras Coffee Houses. To the uninitiated, these are restaurants that exclusively serve South Indian cuisine and really good coffee. They used to be relatively inexpensive for the quality and quantity of food they served. It was a favorite hangout for writers and young college students.
The Masala Doa would come with a aloo sabzi stuffed inside, sides of coconut and tomato chutneys and a big bowl of sambhar. In all the cooking adventures I have had, I have never been quite able to duplicate any of the tastes except that of the sabzi. Here is my simplified version of the udipi sabzi.


4 – 5 medium potatoes
1 small onion, chopped
½ cup of peas
½ tsp mustard seeds
4-5 curry leaves (optional)
1tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
½ tsp cumin coriander powder
½ tsp sabzi masala (I use Everest brand)
Salt to taste

Boil the potatoes in the cooker for 2-3 whistles. Once it cools down, peel and chop potatoes in small cubes.
Heat oil in a karahi or wok and add the mustard seeds. As they begin to crackle, add the curry leaves. The leaves have water in them and so they splutter when added to the oil. It is advisable to lower the heat and stand aside while the spluttering subsides.
With the heat still on low add the turmeric powder, red chili powder and chopped onion. Bring up the heat to medium and sauté till onions turn translucent.
Add the remaining spices and stir. The spices should start giving off their aroma in a minute or so. Add the peas and potatoes at this point. Coat the pea and potatoes with the onions and spice mix.
At this point, you can decide to do two things. If you want the sabzi to be dry (sookhi) then just add the salt and mix. Heat it through and serve with a garnish of cilantro.
If on the other hand, you want the sticky, Udipi style sabzi, add salt and ½ cup of water to the karahi. On medium low, let the water bubble and boil while the starch from the potatoes makes delicious, sticky gravy. In about 5-7 minutes you will have the Udipi style aloo sabzi ready. Serve it garnished with chopped corrainder and dosa.

In my household, we eat this sabzi with dosa and toor dal cooked in a cooker.

1 comment:

  1. Nice...reminds me of the mulund eating joint and also the poona coffee house - my absolute fav for rawa dosa !


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