Kochurir alur torkari

This is the spicy potato curry that accompanies kochuri at roadside shops around Calcutta. A breakfast favourite.

  • Cooking time
    45 minutes
  • Calories
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We've derived the recipe for this spicy kochurir alur tarkari through numerous trials, permutations and combinations. Of course, this alur tarkari is not our invention, but there was no actual recipe for it to be found anywhere on the internet or in recipe books. It is the quintessential mishtir dokaner alur torkari that is served with either hinger kochuri or luchi, along with lonkar achaar (green chilli pickle) and sweet chutney. Every shop makes it a little differently, but the basics are the same. You can clearly delineate certain distinct flavours, such as those of panch phoron, hing and kasuri methi.

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4 servings
  • 500 g potatoes
  • 20 g mustard oil
  • 2 pcs dried red chillies
  • 1⁄4 tsp hing (asafoetida)
  • 1 tsp panch phoron
  • 12 g ginger
  • 3 g green chillies
  • 5 g spice mix (see recipe below)
  • 1⁄2 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 5 g sugar
  • 5 g salt
  • 1⁄4 tsp kasuri methi
  • 5 g beetnoon (black salt)
  • 300 g hot water
  • 25 g boiled motor (whole yellow peas)

Alur Torkari Spice Mix

Use only 5 g

  • 4 g cumin powder
  • 5 g coriander powder
  • 4 g turmeric powder
  • 3 g red chilli powder
  • 2 g amchur powder (dried-mango powder)
  • 2 g gorom moshla
  • 6 g chaat masala


Prepare the spice mix

  1. Combine cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, aamchur powder, gorom moshala, and chaat masala, in the proportions given. This will yield about 25 g of the spice mix, but for this recipe, we need only 5 g. Store away the rest in an air-tight jar for future use.

Make the alur tarkari

  1. Soak motor (whole yellow peas) overnight. Boil them the next morning, drain the water and set aside.
  2. Soak potatoes in water and scrub them clean. Don't peel the potatoes; the potato skin adds flavour.
  3. Cut the potatoes into 3-cm cubes.
  4. Chop green chillies and ginger. Crush them using a mortar pestle into a fine paste, with a pinch of salt.
  5. Heat mustard oil in a kadai until it smokes gently and changes colour to a pale yellow. Temper with dried red chillies. Add hing (asafoetida) and fry for 10 seconds. Add panch phoron and wait until the methi (fenugreek) in it turns red. Now, add the ginger and green chilli paste. Fry everything on low heat for 30 seconds.
  6. Add 5 g of the spice mix that you prepared earlier. Also add kashmiri red chilli powder and sugar. Frying red chilli powder and sugar directly in oil leads to a rich red colour. Fry the spices on low heat for 30 seconds. Be careful not to burn them.
  7. Now, add the potatoes and stir to coat them with the spices. Add salt and mix everything well. Now, put the lid on and sauté with spices on medium heat for 6 minutes.
  8. Crush some kasuri methi and sprinkle it over the potatoes. Add beetnoon (black salt) and mix it well.
  9. Add the boiled motor.
  10. Add 300 g hot water to form the gravy. Cover and let simmer until the potatoes are cooked. This should take about 10 minutes. The starch from potatoes will thicken the gravy. But in case it doesn't happen, mash a couple of potato pieces and mix them with the gravy.  
  11. Serve hot with luchi or porota.

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