Saturday, November 13, 2010

Potato Whatchamacallit

I don't know too much Hindi. Yes, I grew up and studied in a State which believed in the three-language formula and went through over eight years of school studying Hindi as the third language but I am still confused about the gender of various nouns and consequently, the propositions that precede them. Most of the Hindi I know comes from watching TV, and the task is made easier nowadays by watching DVDs of Hindi movies with English sub-titles. This also means that I understand more of textbook Hindi than real-world Hindi.

All this goes to say that I can only imagine what Chak De India or Chakh Le India mean. Yes, I have Googled, but when you have answers like this:

"Chak de" is used instead of "chakh de"
Meaning of "Chak De" is Uttah De

Chakna means Uthana
de means Dena

It is oftenly used when calling "Chak De Fatte"
Which means "Duniya ko Utha do Means "Chha Jao"

it's not much help.

Google further, you say.

I did, and it confirmed my assumption that the meaning is something to the effect of "Get going, India!" Or something equally inspirational, like "You rock, India!"

Now, this post has nothing to do with Hindi or Shah Rukh Khan or hockey, but it does have to do with the food show called Chakh Le India on NDTV, which is where I saw this recipe for this potato fry/curry/whatchamacallit.

This was ages ago, and all I remember about its provenance was that it came from a couple who ran a home stay or a guest house somewhere in the hills in North India - I've tried looking for it in the NDTV web site under Himalaya, Himachal, Uttarakhand and such, but it's throwing up 821 recipes and I do NOT have the time to sift through those. So you're stuck with the result of my memory of that recipe. Which is not bad at all, so you're not stuck with it, really.

There's not much to it. The only special thing that you have to do with this is combine a little bit of turmeric, a spoon of chilli powder and coriander powder each, mix it with about half a cup or less of water and leave it to meld for about 15 minutes.

By which time you'd have peeled (perhaps) and cut about three potatoes, sauteed them in a couple of spoons or more of oil with some cumin and maybe some mustard seed (maybe even some wild mustard - which is what jakhya is supposed to be - for a most exciting crunch), and sprinkled some salt over them and stirred to mix.

(Please go through the comments in the post I linked to - they have some information on jakhya.)

Now add the spiced water, cover and cook till they are done.

Your potato curry/fry/whatchamacallit is ready. I love little special touches like the spice water - it makes me feel I've tried something new, even a "simple" dish like this feels "special" and so do I, without the bother of having to use tiresome spice pastes ground in the tiresome mixer or grinder or whatchamacallit.

This dishy dish goes off to Susan at The Well-Seasoned Cook who's hosting Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging, now managed by Haalo.


  1. The potatoes like the ones my mother in law makes. Absolutely divine.

  2. Sra

    Chakh -- in Hindi means to take a taste.
    Chakhna -- tasting

    Chak(no h) de fatte -- is punju, don't know exact meaning, maybe to take over

    I think you knew all of the above and you are being your own funny self ;-)

    Anything potato can be nothing but yum

  3. Sra,
    I too used to watch NDTV's cookery show in India.And the visit to some of the homes where they cook some really great deals.I remember one family cooking Rajasthani "laal mans".Tell me have you seen a show with Vinod Dua on NDTV..thats another great cookery show on move, not sure if it still shows up there..Potato dish looks delicious.
    "Chakhna" and "Chak" one from Hindi and one from Punjabi means different though :-) that was funny!!..hugs and smiles

  4. Thoda Thoda Hindi is all I know from my limited exposure to Hindi serials and I Indian citizenship has been called into question by some Hindi speaking folks :)

    AS for the potatoes in any language is tasty and delightful.

  5. That's another funny one of yours! I didn't know what Chak De meant either.. and yet I love using words like "adbhut". ;D

  6. well even after living in Delhi for four years am confused with the various its always easy to concentrate on the potato which looks yum.

  7. Whatevayacallit, it looks so darned delish, Sra.

    A fun read. It reminds me of when I first studied Spanish and French - gendered common nouns?

    Thanks for joining in WHB!

  8. Ours also was third language and only had from 6 th to 8th .
    I do think it is a pity i don't know hindi especially when you go to a iNdian bunch adnthey all speak hindi.
    I think this is the best potato dish i have seen .

  9. I hate it when I look up one thing only to find that the definition instructs me to then look for something else! Oh well. This dish looks wonderful enough to make up for it.

  10. hey! I actually did see this very episode of Chakh le India and potatoes being my favorite vegetable, couldnt help drooling over the dish :)
    Btw, thanks for ur comment on my blog... unfortunately I deleted the comment by mistake and am unable to retrieve it now :( but thanks! I totally enjoy the way u write too...

  11. so which herb is this about?

    and i agree with bong mom..but no harm done if its giving us a few laughs :)


  12. :) Sounds like the Asian fish recipe I dredged up from memory and posted recently! looks delicious!

  13. I dont know how do you pronounce that but that is looking yummy.


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