If you have never had shada alur torkari before you may look at the recipe and think—boiled potatoes with a nigella-seed tempering—how good can it be? But make it once and you will be shocked at how delicious and comforting this incredibly simple dish tastes. It really lets the potato flavour shine like almost no recipe we can think of. Mashed potatoes are comforting, but they have a lot of butter and cream and salt and pepper. Potato soup has tonnes of other ingredients. Even alur dum and the spicy alur tarkari have other things going on. This has none. It is the purest homage to the Bengali love for potatoes.
- 500 g potatoes (2 cm cubes)
- 25 g tomato
- 2 green chillies
- 50 g vegetable oil
- 1 dried red chilli
- ½ tsp kaalo jeere (nigella seeds)
- 225 ml hot water
- 5 g salt
- 10 g sugar
- Chop the potatoes in 2 cm cubes, halve the tomato and slit green chillies.
- Heat oil in a kadai. Temper with dried red chilli and kaalo jeere. Once the kaalo jeere has infused in the oil, discard half of it.
- Add potatoes and salt. Fry on low heat, covered, for 5 mins, ensuring that no browning takes place.
- Add tomato and green chillies. Continue frying on low heat until the tomatoes are soft.
- Add hot water and sugar, and simmer until the potatoes are cooked.
- Mash in a couple of pieces of potato to thicken the sauce. Serve hot.