Alu Chorchori – A quick and easy dry potato curry from Bengali cuisine.
Did you enjoy all of the recipes I posted yesterday to complete our Kashmiri thali? After the exhaustive process of cooking all the dishes for that thali, today’s is a much simpler mini thali. Today we are heading down to the coastal South Indian state of West Bengal. I have quite a number of Bengali dishes already posted, in addition to the full Bengali thali I did here. If you are a seafood lover, you will love Bengali cuisine. There is a famous Bengali saying – Maache Bhate Bangali – Rice and Fish make a Bengali. Despite this abundance of seafood dishes in their cuisine, they still have some great Vegetarian dishes as well, represented in this simple and quick Alu Chorchori.
Bengali cuisine is characterized by its use of mustard oil and whole spices. The ubiquitous panch phoran is synonymous with Bengali cuisine. It is a 5 spice blend of cumin, mustard, fenugreek, nigella (black onion seed) and fennel. This dry potato curry is done in just 20 minutes but still packed with flavor thanks to this flavorful spice blend. You can purchase the spice blend at any Indian supermarket or gourmet International market. Before we get to today’s recipe, let’s take a look at the mini thali, of which the remaining recipes will be posted later.
Mini Bengali Thali
- Mishti Pulao ( a sweet and spicy rice)
- Cholar Dal (a coconut rich yellow split pea dal) – recipe previously posted here
- Chingri Macher Kalia (shrimp and potato in an onion-ginger paste curry)
- Paneer Payasam (milk pudding thickened with paneer and flavored with rose water)
- Alu Chorchori
Although not included in the thali photo above, you can complete this Bengali meal with this Grean Pea Paratha…after all no Indian meal is complete without a flatbread right!
Now let’s see how to make Alu Chorchori…
- 1 tablespoon mustard oil
- a pinch of asoefetida
- 2 dried red chiles
- 1 tablespoon panch phoran
- 4 medium potatoes peeled and diced
- Salt to taste
- Heat ghee. Add aseofetida. After it stops sizzling, add chiles and panch phoran. Fry for 1 minute, until it starts emiting an aroma.
- Add potatoes and stir fry for 1 minute so they get coated with all of the spices.
- Add 2 cups water and cook until potatoes are tender and all of the water has evaporated.
- Add salt. Stir to combine.