Growing up in a Bengali household we always had some form of aloo bhaja with at least one of our day's meals. This soft alu-peyaj bhaja isn't the most delicious thing one can make with aloo, but it is quick to make and extremely versatile. This dry aloo bhaja can act like a dry alu'r torkari with rooti for breakfast. It can also be served as one of the sides with dal and torkari (vegetables). We would also have it with runny khichuri sometimes on rainy nights. On hot summer afternoons this is what we were served with panta bhaat. The whole recipe takes 20 minutes to make and it is a keeper. After all, not all that we eat everyday has to be glamorous or even coveted. Some recipes are just monotonous and sustaining and we love them all the same.
- 400 g potatoes
- 100 g onions
- ¼ tsp kaalo jeere (nigella seeds)
- 2 pcs dried red chillies
- 2 pcs green chillies
- 6 g salt
- ¼ tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- 40 g mustard oil
- Peel and cut potatoes in 1 cm-wide sticks. Slice onions. Slit green chillies.
- Heat mustard oil. Allow the oil to start smoking gently and turn pale yellow.
- Temper oil with dried red chillies and kaalo jeere. Add potatoes. Add turmeric and mix. Fry on medium-high heat for 2 minutes.
- Add onions and green chillies. Fry for 2 minutes.
- Add salt and mix everything well.
- Add sugar. This cooks in 6–8 minutes; work quickly and stir gently so that potatoes don't break. Keep frying until onions have browned and potatoes are cooked.
- Serve hot with ruti.