Sunday, January 03, 2010

Going Back To The Tubers

The potato is a stem tuber, and 'roots and tubers' is a phrase. With this dish, I suppose I'm 'going back to the roots', now a much-used and often abused cliche, so there it is! When my grandmother still cooked for our family, this dish made a frequent appearance on our dining table at night.

Three days into the new year and I cooked only today. Some of the potatoes I had from ten days ago had put out monstrous sprouts, so much so there was too much sprout and very little potato. Off they went into the bin - the rest, peeled and chopped, made up about 1.5 cups. Then there were some tomatoes too that were going soft and squishy, five of those went into this curry.

I didn't add anything more, not even onion, because I didn't want to eat this curry for the next five days. I wanted something that would last me no longer than two days.

In my book, as well as yours, I'm sure, a recipe has to fulfill at least one of these two conditions to be deemed a success: It has to taste and look like your grandmothers' food, or it has to look like it came out of a restaurant!

Mine, I'm happy to say, looked very much like my grandmother's. And it lasted no longer than a day.

Potatoes, peeled, chopped/diced: 1.5 cups
Tomatoes: 5, chopped (about 2 cups)
Curry leaves: A few
Chilli powder: 1 tsp
Dry ginger powder: 1 tsp (you can use fresh ginger)
Salt: to taste
Water: 1 cup + 1/4 cup
Oil: 1 tsp
Mustard seed: 1/2-1 tsp
Cumin:1/4-1/2 tsp

Microwave (or boil till soft) the potatoes with a quarter cup of water for four minutes - in two 2-minute spells.

Heat the oil in a pan, pop the mustard and add the cumin.

Once the cumin sizzles, add the tomatoes, saute for 2 minutes and then add the salt, chilli powder and ginger powder. Add some of the water. Cover and let the mix get mushy on medium flame.

Now add the potatoes and give them a good stir. Simmer.

Let the tomato gravy cover the potatoes (but not quite drown them).

Add the curry leaves, simmer for another minute or two and remove from the fire.


  1. Anything with the name grandma is a surefire hit. This one looks so darn good too.

  2. It is really suprising how delicious a curry can look and taste just with few ingridients.
    I really wish i had this for dinner.
    I am sure here too it would only last a day.
    Happy New year to you.

  3. .. I love the color of the curry sra..:)..simple and delicious!


  4. Happy New Year to you and your Sra. Hope you have a great year ahead.
    Looks delicious, we make something similar except that tomatoes are substituted with tamarind.

  5. Sounds easy and delicious, Sra! Now my holiday indulgence is over and it's back to trying to eat healthy -- this would be a great start :)

  6. Absolutely true. When I cook, that's my aim too -- it must taste like my grand-mumma was in the kitchen, peering, and stirring, adding a smidgen of this and that. This is identical to tomato-batata rassa that my gran-ma used to make ... and I just loved having it over steamed rice. Delicious, Sra!

  7. Sounds & looks awesome!!! I would very much want to have this with some luchi :-D

  8. Still looks good to me!

    Happy New Year, Sra.

  9. The simple joys of life!

  10. A potato dish for me to try if I dont have onions :)
    It is different from the usual potato masala or aloo fry...

    Regarding the savory cakes, I was bored of eating fruit cakes all week and thought, why not, isnt dhokla a cake too?!! A easy to make cake in a pressure cooker..
    I was about to call the chutney as my royal green icing :)

  11. Happy New Year - potatoes and tomatoes make for such lovely comfort food!!

  12. Lovely curry. I like anything tomatoey! Your New Year recipe looks the best ;)

  13. This reminds me of a north Indian potato curry called jhol, which is watery with potatoes floating in it. It does call for some garam masala and dhana jeera powder though. No left overs is a good beginning for the new year.

  14. I have been craving puris for a while.This potato curry with piping hot puris OMG...

  15. looks delicious and i could certainly eat something like this on a cold n.y. day.


  16. This one really looks great, will be a sure hit at home. One question, curry leaves needs to be added at the end ? Is it always so ? I add curry leaves directly to the oil, is that the wrong way ?

  17. that's a delicious curry! looks fabulous Sra. Nice color.

    Belated wishes for the happy new year 2010 :)

  18. Indo, Happy, Siri, RC, Linda, Sheetal, Soma, Sunshinemom, Musy, Ruchika, Miri, Ni, Jaya, Shankari, Paz, Ruchika, Uma - thanks.

    Bong Mom, I forgot to add the curry leaves to the oil, so I added them towards the end :-) I'm yet to decide which way I like them more.

  19. I add curryleaves to the oil and then some fresh ones at the end too, best of both worlds :)

  20. I loved the colorful & attention seeking color it throws...... Lovely!!!!!!

    Have a wonderful year ahead....


  21. lovely colour of curry,..was out of station so no post...;-)

  22. Happy New Year! That potato curry looks so, so good, Sra!!

  23. this looks so delightful and comforting! I wish I had some chapati and a bowl of the curry right now for dinner :) First time on this blog, loved it!

  24. Super simple and very colorful. I notice you use tomatoes rather often in your dishes. I like that, not only for their visual appeal, but they are loaded with obscure elements for good health - and tomatoes can be found any time of year from somewhere.