Tuesday, February 26, 2008

To An Ode, To A Feast

It’s been a last few days of spectres: of mercifully elusive but relentlessly persistent ones; of work goals that don’t meet self-imposed deadlines; of library return-by dates that are sure to overtake the pace of my reading; of a major conference of which there seems to be no mention anywhere except on my e-mail; of lethargy and blogger’s block.

I’m tempted to plop the recipe and get it over with, but that wouldn’t be me. I am always worried about running out of narratives for my posts, and I’m afraid this is one such moment. All my potato memories seem to have been used up for other recipes, and since the deadline is fast looming (certainly no spectre this), let’s just get on with it, shall we? I’ve had this post for about a week now in my mind, am trying to dust the cobwebs so it can go off to Sia and Dhivya who are singing odes to the spud and hosting potato feasts.

Now this is another recipe (adapted from Nita Mehta’s Punjabi Khana) where I used shortcuts and tried to cut down on calories to a certain extent – but four tbsps of cashew is bad enough, whether you deep fry the potatoes or not! It’s a heavy dish, and after eating it for three days straight, I donated it, and I’m assuming it would have been much appreciated.

Potatoes with Curd-Cashew Paste

Baby potatoes – 16
Nigella/Kalonji – 1 tsp
Bay leaf – 2
Onions – 2
Turmeric – ½ tsp
Garam masala – ½ tsp
Chopped coriander – 2 tbsp
Yoghurt/curds – ½ cup
Oil – 2 tbsp (I had some mustard oil lying around so I used that)


Cashews – 4 tbsp, soaked in a little water (or a mixture of almonds and cashews)
Ginger – 1 tbsp
Garlic – 1 tsp

to a fine paste.

Boil the potatoes till tender.

Heat the oil in a pan. Add the nigella and bay leaf.

Add the onions and cook on low heat till the onions turn soft. Do not let them brown. Add the turmeric and garam masala. Mix well.

Add curds and fry on low heat till the water evaporates. Cook till dry.

Add cashew paste, cook for a minute.

Add about one cup of water to the gravy. Boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Cook on low heat till gravy thickens and coats the potatoes. (As I found out, it was thick enough so I didn’t really have to wait until it coated the potatoes.) This is meant to go with rotis and parathas.

Here are other potato posts from this blog:

Lessons from a Spud

Palette in Pastels

Cutlace, Somehow Or The Other

Herbal Hardsell

Sunshine, And a Bird

Garlicky Spuds a la Mode

No Couch Potato This!

Aloo Dum(b) and Oil-Free

Easy Peasy

A simple stir-fry



  1. Sounds rich! A different dish than what I typically make, but sounds great! :)

  2. Love the title sra. Aloo dish looks yummy. So many aloo dishes in your blog! I guess I have quite a few too, remember the JFI potato event!:)

  3. Sra, emi too much creativity with spuds anukuntanu. I want to try ur raita and this recipe too

  4. kalonji does add a distinct flavor to the dishes :)

  5. I LOVE the combination of nigella and bay leaf, so this is something I'd like to try. I am worried about getting the curd dry (cooking yogurt not being among my fortes :) ), but I'll still try.

  6. this is new to me Sra! Looks good. I hear you - sometimes we run out of ideas and we just want to get the entry in :-)

  7. hi Sra, Thanks a lot for remembering me. felt so nice. Want to resume but feel very lazy to cook, click and type. not having the energy and enthu I had before. will post on my anniversary though which is on 1st march. hope all is well at ur end!

  8. Wonderful entry..love these..

  9. Stories or no stories, your posts are always a great read! Lovely recipe, but like you said, a tad rich :). I'll take it with 1 tsp. cashew, do you think it will work still?

  10. Your "potato memories" have been used up? :D :D Time to make some more Sra... :)
    Love the base for this gravy, I'll need some green chillies in it though... :)

  11. Sra, you sadly disappoint me. I came running to perk my morning and here I find you in a worse spirit of not finding anything to say to us???..Tut Tut, this falls very short of the Madam's style!..:D..anyway guess the dish is tempting enough for me to look into the shortcomings...will give you sometime for you to regress that next time...

  12. Kalai, it IS rich, v heavy :)
    Asha, thanks. Even I never realised I had so many till I put this list together - I cooked only one of them for JFI, though!
    Sreelu, :) try cheyandi.
    Richa, yes, actually the recipe mentioned shahjeera, I didn't have that so I used kalonji
    ET, it does dry out, even I was apprehensive. What never works for me is " ... fry till oil leaves the sides" :)
    Latha, thanks. Photographed something else today, now have to worry about an intro to that :)
    Sharmi, how nice to see you here! Do start and take it up at your own pace, your blog is too good to miss.
    Dhivya, thank you.
    Musical, thanks. I guess you'll get less gravy so maybe you could use fewer potatoes.
    Sig, yes, I'm amazed I have that many potato dishes on my blog - didn't realise I had so many. Yes, even I would have liked green chillies in it, on hindsight - I didn't realise as I was making it, but there is absolutely no chilli in this.
    Valli, I know, sorry about that - disappointing others and myself - that's a double whammy! Hope to make it up in the next post.

  13. I like the gravy, but I'll add some chillies to it. A tint of spice is always nice.

  14. run out of narrative....I face that most times....

    cashew and curd paste...makes it a rich gravy right?

  15. would love to try this Sra...but unfortuantely my hubby is allergic to cashews...that is such a sheer waste..

  16. oh yes, i second sig:) u better start creating new memories;) am i sounding like some goon here? he he he..
    thanks for joining me in the singing:) have a bag of baby potatoes and u have given me brillent idea to use them.

  17. Your write such wonderfully when you have a block!! You better have this kind of a block often. ;)

    But thats absolutely true..... more than the recipe, what I am more scared about is how to start! :)

    Great potato dish, but yeah, 3 days in a ro would have been a lot!

    So when are you coming to sing?! ;)

  18. Delicious and creamy.
    Well after seeing all the post you have done with potato, i am not surprise you coudn't write that much about Mr.P

  19. Cashew and yogurt must make this so creamy and dreamy. Perfect with potatoes!

  20. wow, looks so yummy! A great entry to the feasts. Love the pic.

  21. the sounds so different and delicious Sra, can't wait to try it!

  22. ..and you thought u have an block. Your so called 'running out of words worry' by itself made quite a good read ;-) Its v hard for you to be speechless girl and No- we are not complaining! :) The recipe is new to me and the richness is sure calling out to me although my mirror is not! But who cares! Here's to the luv of potato.

    Luv you entry and thanks for sending it my way :)

  23. Oh man! I better get my spud action on!

    This gravy looks *so* delicious!

    NOTE TO SELF: Try this next week :)

  24. U love potatoes, that I can totally tell with the miriad recipes you have for potatoes. This recipe is something I have not had..so have to try it.

  25. What an inspiration for the cashew paste! I always learn something new when I'm here. Thanks!
    BTW- our first cooking video is up!

  26. it looks so rich ,Punjabi cuisine is famous for rich gravies and ghee Tadka ...
    this one will be so tasty thats for sure ...
    hugs and smiles

  27. wow Sra what a rich gravy!!nice entry.

  28. Jyothsna, my sentiments exactly!
    Rachel, yes, too rich, as I found out.
    Shella, try almonds.
    Sia, glad I could make the deadline.
    Coffee, I'm working on it.
    Happy Cook, like I was saying, even I didn't realise I had that many posts.
    Laavanya, creamy alright, to the point of being heavy :)
    Uma, my Dad said this photo looked like a wheelbarrow used to cart cement at a construction site!
    Mandira, make only a little, it gets too heavy and boring later.
    Dhivya, does the mirror ever, ever get it right? Nope. Thanks for the nice comment.
    Kaykat, spud action :-D
    Shankari, try it, it's nice and mild
    Todd & Diane, I will see it just as soon as my Internet connection allows it. Thanks.
    Jaya, thanks, try it.


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