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Archive for December 7th, 2007

Masaledaar Aloo ki sabji

Posted by vivnidhi on December 7, 2007

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Acorn Squash & Potatoes

The acorn squash was sitting there, turning orange by the day……” Why am I being neglected?”, it said, from the top of the refrigerator. Drawing all my attention yet being silent. Yes, I am talking about squash and pumpkin when the title screams potatoes:). The quiet pumpkin (again silently) adds  a lot of taste to my favorite recipe.  So, finally, before it would dry up on me and blame me for its condition, I picked it up. The squash certainly seemed happier, all peeled and cut up next to its dear potatoes. What the leftover squash; saran wrapped and in the refrigerator is saying to me now is another story:)).

Masaledaar aloo ki sabji (poor pumpkin wasn’t even mentioned) was always made in my house to be paired with Calcutta crisp Kachoris (wonder why we named it so but someday I will blog about it too!). Ah! those Sundays when my mother would make them……I would rarely have a count of how many Kachoris I ate or how many times I served the sabji. Now, when I can’t go frying kachoris and eating them often, at least I can indulge in this favorite vegetable gravy. As I was making it, I remembered of the Grindless gravies . This recipe has no grinding involved whatsoever. It uses a few ground masalas found in almost every Indian kitchen.

The most important ingredients here are ginger, heeng (asafoetida),coriander powder and kalonji (nigella seeds). Without kalonji, it just would not taste as good and without coriander powder,  it just won’t get the right consistency and smell. A very informative post about nigella seeds is Mistress of Spices, finally .

The recipe:

Potatoes 2, chopped into bigger pieces
pumpkin about 1 cup, chopped small
ginger 2 Tbsp., chopped up
green chillies 2
tomato 1 (optional)

Masala
Heeng 1/4 tsp.
nigella seeds 3/4 tsp.
cumin seeds 1/4 tsp.
turmeric 1/2 tsp.
red chilli powder 1/4 tsp.
coriander powder 2 heaping Tbsp.
Dry mango powder/amchur 1/2 tsp.
Garam Masala 1/2 tsp.
yogurt 2 Tbsp.

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Heeng in the box & clockwise from left: cumin, nigella seeds, turmeric,red chilli
powder, coriander powder, amchur powder in the center is garam masala

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Chopped up pumpkin, potatoes, ginger and green chillies

Once the masaldaan (a round box with small cups for holding dry masalas)is out and vegetables chopped, we are almost done. First heat the pressure cooker and to 2 tsp. oil add heeng, cumin and nigella seeds.  Once they start to splutter, add yogurt, ginger, green chillies, chopped tomato, turmeric, red chilli and coriander powders. Brown them well, add a Tbsp. of water if need be to prevent the masalas from sticking to the pan. I used canned sliced tomatoes as I didn’t have any fresh ones. Next, add pumpkin and potato along with 1 1/2 cups water and salt and mix well. Close the pressure cooker, put in low medium flame and say the mantra” Fill it, shut it and forget it” You can forget it for upto 30-45 mins but after that you will have to remember it. You could add some water and reheat if the consistency is thicker. After putting the gas off, and when you can open the pressure cooker, mix the contents well, the pumpkin should just dissolve in the gravy.  Add garam masala, amchur powder and garnish with chopped cilantro. You may avoid adding the amchur powder if you find the gravy sour enough.

The sabji goes best with kachoris, but pooris or pranthas  do fine as well.

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Masaledaar Aloo ki Sabji

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