Saturday, 27 March 2010

Aloo Mutter Khurma (Potato and Peas Khurma)

While growing up, I remember my parents would take us out for dinner almost every weekend. Quite surely that did pinch the pocket but it certainly brought us closer and those are nice memories to cherish. My father, brother and myself had our favourite dishes and I remember mom always being unsure of what she wants to order whichever restaraunt we go to. My dad’s all time favourite is aloo mutter and I managed to make him my version of it when I was in Chennai recently. While it did come out great and I am quite consistent with that recipe, I wanted to try something different. I tried this on a day when I was exhausted by the unpacking and cleaning I had to do and was very happy with the results as my husband loved the aroma and the taste and ofcourse that the house is coming back in order. Other reason why I wanted to make this dish was coz I found a packet of coconut powder that was going to expire soon. I also used an ingredient for the first time – poppy seeds. I took the concept for this recipe from a book in my collection and modified it to suit our taste and available ingredients. I also tried to bring a more south Indian touch to this dish.
1 cup cubed boiled potatoes
1 cup boiled peas
1 teaspoon mustard seeds (optional)
3 pinches of turmeric powder
1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
Cooking oil
Asafoetida (optional)
Salt as required
For the paste just grind together:
4-5 green chillies
1 onion chopped
1.5 tablespoons poppy seeds soaked in hot water for atleast 15minutes
2 tablespoons coconut powder or fresh grated coconut
3 cloves garlic
Pressure cook the potatoes and peas. In a kadai (deep dish) heat about 1 teaspoon oil and add mustard seeds and after it splutters add turmeric, asafoetida and cook diced tomatoes. Once the tomatoes are well cooked and become pulpy, add the ground paste and required amount of water and cook until raw smell goes off. Then add the vegetables and salt and allow it to simmer for a while so the flavours get into the vegetable. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serves best with chapathi, rice and also dosas.
I remember that poppy seeds were not particularly inexpensive and it was kind of precious commodity in my household. My mom would make a delicious sweet drink with it to help us fight boils in our mouth. Poppy seeds are hard to grind so it is important that you soak them for a while. I soaked them at the start of my preparation for this dish.

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