Thursday, November 27, 2014

Sukno Kasha Alur Dum / Masala Coated Potatoes / Dry Dum Aloo

I was born in the late '80s. I consider myself lucky for that. It was the time, when regardless of the ushering technology in the U.S.A, people of India was not so much affected by them. There were no mobile phones, no CD, no digital camera and of computer!!  In our house we had one black telephone, which was large and heavy. Remember those ancient black telephones, which used to have a round dial in place of the numbers??? We had one of them.

how to cook bengali style  Sukno Kasha Alur Dum

As students, we still had time to play and read books outside the syllabus. Library was our Google, where we surfed books for hours for writing an essay or article. Most of the times, I got engaged with a completely different book from my subject and forgot about my article. Really, it happened to me number of times.
A few days ago after talking with one of my cousins, I said to my husband that these days,all are so fascinated about fairy tales, but everyone has forgotten about our Rupkathar Golpo (Indian Fairy Tales). They are so amazed about Rapunzel, Snow White and Cinderella that they can't see the sonar kathi, rupor kathi(enchanted sticks), and pokhirajer ghora( Indian version of the unicorn). See, I am not opposing about Disney or its effect, I am also a great fan of all the Disney's movies, but I just feel sad, that no one reads what we have in our own culture.

how to cook bengali style  Sukno Kasha Alur Dum

Thinking about my own school days, I cooked this dry dum aloo, which my grandmother was famous for. Mine was not sooo great like her, but those good old days came back for some time when I ate them. These dry dum aloo goes excellent with luchi / puri.  This is the only combination I can think of with it. It also is a great appetizer, as I can eat them alone too. They are spicy, chili and real tasty. There is a station called Baleswar, on the way to Cuttuck and the vendors there sell exactly the same dum aloos. Trust me... these are great. Try to use baby potatoes. I could not find baby potatoes so I have used ordinary potatoes here.

Sukno kasha alur dam / Masala Coated Potatoes
Serves 3/4

how to cook bengali style  Sukno Kasha Alur Dum

  • 5-6 baby potatoes / 3 medium sized potatoes - cut into halves
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp red chili powder
  • A pinch of coriander powder
  • A pinch of cumin powder
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp whole coriander seeds
  • 2 dry red chilies
  • 4-5 black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tsp amchur powder
  • 1/2 tsp hing / asafoetida
  • salt
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 bunch of coriander leaves - chopped
  • Boil the potatoes with some salt. However do not boil them too much, they should retain their firmness.
  • When the potatoes are boiled, strain the water and pat them dry with kitchen towel.
  • In a bowl, take 1/2 cup of water and mix all the powdered spices.
  • Dry roast the whole spices and grind them together to a fine powder.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the juice of the ginger paste. Quickly add liquid spice mix.
  • Add salt and saute until they become like a paste like consistency.
  • Now add 2 tsp of the dry roasted spices. Mix evenly.
  • Add the potatoes and saute quickly, so that they do not get burned and the potatoes become well coated. The gravy should be very dry yet sticky, in Bengali way it should be "makha makha".
  • Drizzle the lemon juice.
  • Add the chopped coriander leaves. Give a quick stir and put off the flame.

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