Recipes: Vegan/ Recipes: Vegetarian

Back to the Basics…

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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  • Reply
    August 31, 2009 at 4:24 AM

    5 stars
    Once a month everyone in our house makes a special effort of cooking a Sunday roast, well you can’t live like students all the time!

  • Reply
    April 5, 2008 at 10:20 AM

    5 stars
    Hi, I made this last night, along with chicken masala, lentils, and kheer. Had a great dinner party! The potatoes were a big hit, thank you!

  • Reply
    July 20, 2007 at 3:43 AM

    5 stars
    I found ur cooking very simple and helpful. I m a student here in U.S, and used to eat all junkie food, but i guess with ur simple and easy instruction now m able to cook a lil bit. and having fun with cooking. Indeed cooking is very creative.


  • Reply
    December 2, 2006 at 9:45 PM

    5 stars
    Love your recipes.

  • Reply
    October 18, 2006 at 11:10 AM

    5 stars
    That looks so tasty! I am going to check my spice cabinet! 🙂

  • Reply
    October 18, 2006 at 9:33 AM

    5 stars
    I love dry aloo subzi… looks delicious meena!

  • Reply
    October 18, 2006 at 1:16 AM

    5 stars
    Meena, looks delectable. I used to love this when my mum served it up with warm chapatis and plain yoghurt. Something about the simplicity of this makes it so soul-warming! Thanks.

  • Reply
    October 17, 2006 at 4:10 PM

    5 stars
    Meena, is there anything I could substitute for the fenugreek leaves? I’ll never find them here.

    • Reply
      October 17, 2006 at 7:53 PM

      Hi Sara! There really is no substitute for fenugreek leaves, so its distinct flavour would be missed if avoided. You could try finding an Indian grocery store, they will surely have it available there. Otherwise, just leave it out and garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaves. That would really delicious as well. 🙂

  • Reply
    October 17, 2006 at 1:25 AM

    5 stars
    Your potatoes look great. I’m going to my first ever Diwali banquet next week…very excited!!

  • Reply
    October 16, 2006 at 1:05 PM

    5 stars
    Potatoes always a savior..using fennel in the curry is new to be. Will give it a shot next time. Thnx.

  • Reply
    October 16, 2006 at 12:01 PM

    5 stars

    This is a great potato dish..though I have never used onions and fennel or even fenugreek leaves in it…I use a lot of Curry leaves and achaar masala towards the end to give it a kick.
    (I use achaar masala in lots of sabjis). Enjoy the festivities and of course, the food! I can’t wait to come to Brampton to visit Brar’s once again!


  • Reply
    October 16, 2006 at 9:54 AM

    5 stars
    Looks just divine, Meena. And you are so right – sometimes simple is best of all. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply
    Priya S&S
    October 16, 2006 at 9:34 AM

    5 stars
    Looks delicious Meena !! I have never tried with fennel seeds and fenugreek leaves.. shall try this out soon.

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