Posted by Jaya Malani on 28 Feb 2019

Food that takes us back in time

I guess everyone has those special dishes that take them back to their childhood days. Here’s one that brings back special memories. It’s been lovingly named ‘Picnic Aloo’. Aloo means potato in Hindi.

It reminds me of my childhood travel on the Indian railways. A simple dish of boiled potatoes prepared in a blend of Indian spices, we used to have it with fried puris (a type of naan bread) and my mum’s home made mango pickle. I recall how she would always pack this dish in the traditional Indian tiffins or ‘dabbas’. Midway through our train journey, she would carefully unpack the food for us to enjoy.

Today, when I make this dish for my children, just the whiff of its aroma takes me back in time to those long and joyful holidays aboard the Indian railways!

Here’s the recipe if you would like to give it a go!

  • Peel and dice (into medium sized cubes) 4 small potatoes. Boil these in water until they are soft (they should not get too mushy)
  • Take 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the pan. When hot, add 1/2 teaspoon (tsp) of mustard seeds. After they crackle, add 1/3 tsp of asafoetida (hing), 6 curry leaves followed by the boiled potatoes. Add salt to taste and 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder. Mix gently. Now add 2 tsp of coriander powder, 1 tsp of cumin powder, 1/2 tsp pf paprika and 1/2 tsp of garam masala.
  • Mix well and cover pan with lid and let potatoes cook until they are golden brownish. You should try one to check if it’s crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside.
  • Add juice of 1/4 piece of lime and garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves

This makes for 2 adult portions. Enjoy with naan bread!

I hope you like it!


Breech Lane Curry House

Jaya Malani
Jaya runs Breech Lane Curry House - a home based Indian cookery school from Walton on the Hill. It offers Indian cookery classes, teaching traditional family recipes using the local village produce, fresh home made roasted and ground spices and seasonal vegetables to create flavours that are truly authentic and hones.

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