Livin' on the edge

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

One of my absolute favourite things to do, at any given point, is to discuss food. To watch the food being cooked, eaten, or even purchased. I love grocery store hangs the way fashion bloggers love free events. 

Since I've undertaken this fuckall one post a day and I'm terribly out of ideas because what is life when you've been in the same outfits since March, here's a handy recipe if you're trying to impress someone. Ideally, yourself but a beloved is a closed second. 

The recipe is divided in processes and each process' ingredient list is mentioned separately for clarity. 

Bengali Aloo Dum/Kosha Aloo/Sylhet Aloo/Whatever else 6 hours long Aloo

[Recipe for a family of 3-4]


500 gms par-boiled and peeled baby potatoes (whatever else they're called)

Process 1- Marination 

1 tbsp Kashmiri Red Chilli
1/2 tbsp Turmeric
1 tbsp Bhuna Jeera (dry roast whole cumin seeds and coarsely grind if you don't have this handy)
Salt to taste (if you're a noob, I suggest 1 tsp to start with, you can add more later when you're cooking)

Process 2- Dry Masala

1 tbsp whole Coriander Seeds
1 tbsp Cumin Seeds
1 tbsp Fennel Seeds
1/2 tsp whole Black Pepper
1 tsp Kasuri Methi

Process 3- Wet Masala

1-2 Green Chillies (I took 3 cause I love the heat)
1-inch fresh Ginger
1 tbsp Cumin Seeds

Process 4- Wet Masala

3 tbsp Yogurt
1/2 tsp Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tbsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
1 tbsp Coriander Powder
1/2 tsp Garam Masala (original recipe called for Bengali Garam Masala, I didn't have any)
a dash of water

Process 5- Putting it all together

5 tbsp Vegetable Oil (for shallow frying potatoes)
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil (to actually cook the damn potatoes)
2 small pieces of Cinnamon
2 small Bay Leaves (can take one large)
2 Cloves
2 pods of Cardamom 
1/2 cup warm water


Process 1

1) Par-boil your baby potatoes. Ideally, this should be done at this stage and you shouldn't have to do it now since I did mention use par-boil potatoes but if you skipped it, then please par-boil the damn potatoes and peel them. Please *don't* fully boil them. If you're a noob, this step will take you close to an hour to an hour and a half and I mean all that time just peeling the damn potatoes. 
2) Take a fork and pinch your potatoes like your crush pinches the hell out of you with subtle burns on how he's uninterested in you. 
3) Add the ingredients for marination (Turmeric, Salt, Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder and Bhuna Jeera Powder).
4) Mix the dry spices well but make sure you don't break the potatoes while mixing. 
5) Forget about this for the next three hours. 

Process 2

6) Take the whole dry spices (Coriander Seeds, Cumin Seeds, Fennel Seeds, Whole Black Pepper, Kasuri Methi) and dry roast them on medium-low heat on a Non-Stick Pan/Tawa until they're lightly roasted and your entire house smells of Fennel Seeds. 
7) Allow it to slightly cool. If you live in Delhi, forget that it's going to happen anytime soon so proceed to the next step. 
8) Coarsely grind them in a grinder and take the powder out in a clean, dry bowl. 

Process 3

9) In the same blender, add the Green Chillies, Ginger and Cumin Seeds. Add just a few drops of water and grind it to make a paste. 
10) Take the paste out in a clean bowl and keep it aside. 

Process 4

11) Add Powdered Sugar, Kashmiri Dried Red, Turmeric Powder, Coriander Powder, Garam Masala in a clean bowl. Mix well to make a thick paste. 
12) Depending on the consistency of the yogurt you've used, make sure to add water or not. Please note, the paste should not be watery but should also not be a lump of masalas. Use your discretion. Or common sense. I don't know. You probably shouldn't be here, if you don't know this stuff. This isn't the easiest recipe for someone like you. 

Process 5

13) Take an ugly af kadhai/wok that your family has designated for frying. It's usually the most deformed, old and rugged piece of equipment. If you take a fine looking one, you should know you're doing this wrong. Add oil for shallow frying (I'm going with estimate here). Turn up the heat.
14) Shallow fry them baby potatoes till you see a crisp brown colour/skin on them. I don't know how else to explain. 
15) Keep this lot aside, we got work to do. Take another kadhai/wok. Add oil designated for cooking. 
16) Add the dry whole spices (Bay Leaves, Cardamom Pods, Cloves, Cinnamon) and cook this on medium-high until your kitchen smells delightful and their colour changes slightly so. DO NOT BURN. 
17) Turn the flame to medium-low and add the Process 4 Wet Masala Mix (Yogurt et al). Give it a good stir. 
18) After the Wet Masala Mix has assimilated with the oil and whole spices, increase the flame to medium-high and add the fried potatoes. Mix it well. 
19) At this point add half a cup of warm water and cook it for 5 minutes on medium-low. 
20) Fold in the Wet Mix from Process 3 along with half the Dry Masala from Process 2. Give a stir and cook on medium-low for another 5 minutes.
21) After ten minutes of cooking the potatoes, with a fork, pierce through one and taste. Ideally, everything will taste smashing and potatoes would have cooked al-dente. In case the potatoes are raw, you can add some more warm water and cook till the water dries for another 5 minutes. If need be. If not, then turn off the gas and add the remaining Dry Masala from Process 2. 
22) The original recipe called for Kasuri Methi and Bhuna Jeera to be added again at the end (additional) but I forgot and frankly, it's loaded with masala and you're tired so it's okay to skip.
23) Serve with Lucchi. If you're me and there's no Lucchi then serve with soft Tortilla. It tastes just as decent (it doesn't but I have to convince myself). 

(Title reference; track of the day)

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