Mushroom Pulao  Dahiwali Chicken Curry  Mint-Potato Samosas  Garlic Tofu Noodles  Ginger-Chilli Shrimp 

Good food is nice. Delicious exotic food is even better. But when you’ve overfed yourself with a variety of scrumptiously rich delicacies, the mind begins to move to a more subtle and simple option. The past few weeks saw us gorging on the best of Indian festive delicacies, and what with Diwali Just around the corner, this trend is sure to continue for the next few days as well. But last night, as we came home after a long day of running errands, just in time for a quick hearty meal, our palates began to repulse at the slightest thought of anything even remotely extravagant.

Alu Fry (Sauteed Potatoes)

In most North Indian households, the availability of the three basics – onions, tomatoes and potatoes, along with the most basic of spices cannot be missed. Truly, just with these three, one can can create a pretty hearty meal to feed the whole family. And the choices are never limited. By altering and changing the flavourings and spices, a variety of dishes can be concocted from these basics.

So it’s no surprise that when I look for simplicity, I undoubtedly turn to the basics.


Prep time: 10 min, Cooking time: 15 min | Serves: 4  

  • 3-4 mid-sized red potatoes, diced and boiled
  • 1 small onion, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves, crushed between fingers
  • 2 tbsp light cooking oil
  • HEAT oil in a non-stick pan and saute cumin seeds, coriander seeds and fennel seeds till they start to sizzle. Add onions and fry till brown.

    ADD red chilli powder and turmeric powder, and then throw in potatoes, stirring well to coat with spices.

    ADD salt and let potatoes fry for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with fenugreek leaves, stir well and let cook for another minute or two.

    SERVE warm.

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