Long before we were married, Hubby Dear and I were in a long distance relationship for a couple of years. We lived a good 2 hours drive away from each other, and would alternate the travel each weekend to meet up. The days in between however, would be filled with super long phone conversations. Our talks ranged from how our day went, what classes we had, what we ate, and pretty much anything in between.
On one of those evenings when we were discussing what we were planning on having for dinner, I was slightly irritated on hearing that Hubby Dear had a box of frozen food ready to plunk into the microwave. It was one of those packed frozen Indian curries, that’s quite readily available in any supermarket. Personally, I find them quite tasteless and unappetizing, and so, decided to help him out.
On rummaging his bachelor fridge and pantry, he managed to gather the quintessential ingredients in most Indian kitchens – onions, tomatoes and potatoes! Bonus points to him for also being in possession of garlic, peppers, and a can of tomato paste. The basic spices were already there, and there was nothing that could stop him (or me, for that matter) from cooking up a quick and tasty dinner.
I coached him through the process while he had me on speaker as he prepped, chopped and finally got the dish together. Although we spoke every day for long hours and about everything under the sun, this truly is one of the few conversations of ours during that time that I remember. It taught us both something that day – he learnt that a quick and simple home cooked meal would always taste a million times better, and I learnt that it’s never too hard to get your man cooking!
This recipe is perfect for those days when your fridge is almost empty or when you don’t want to fuss with too many ingredients. Serve this along side some warm rice and a dollop of yogurt, or wrap it in a tortilla or paratha for a quick meal on the go.
ALU SHIMLA-MIRCH (SAUTEED POTATOES WITH PEPPERS)
Prep time: 10 min | Cooking time: 15 min | Serves: 2 as a main, 4 as a side
2 tbsp light cooking oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely sliced
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 medium potatoes, sliced into thin wedges
1 large tomato, finely chopped
1 large green pepper, thinly sliced
salt, to taste
water, as needed
Heat oil in a deep non-stick wok and sauté cumin seeds with garlic and onions till fragrant. Add in spices and tomato paste, and fry for a few seconds.
Throw in the potatoes and tomatoes, season with salt and fry for a few minutes till partly done. Add in sliced peppers, and stir fry till it starts to soften and potatoes are cooked through.
If the dish starts to dry up and stick to the bottom the pan, then add in a splash of water and continue to cook. Serve warm.