Friday, November 21, 2014

Achari Aaloo.....Pickle Flavored Potatoes

Achari Aaloo.........Aaloo or Potato is very versatile root vegetable which fits into any curry you make. When it comes to Indian cuisine you can see generous use of potatoes. That's why there are so many recipes made with Aaloo whether its Dum Aaloo, Jeera Aaloo, Aaloo Paratha, Samosa and the list is never ending. There's a secret about Bengali's.....they can't imagine their Chicken or Mutton Curries without potatoes........Sssshhhhh

Somehow, I don't like potatoes because it adds lots of extra pounds. So I try to use them as minimum as possible in my daily diet. But, when it comes to Aaloo Paratha or Achari Aaloo I can't resist myself.

Achari Aaloo.....Achar means Pickle in English. But we don't use pickle in this recipe. Instead we use the spices which are used to make pickle to infuse the flavor of pickle. This dish gets its tanginess from Amchur Powder (Dry Mango Powder). You can replace it with vinegar or lime juice. There are many variations of this dish. You can replace potatoes with chicken, mutton, paneer, cauliflower or any other vegetable of your choice.

So, let's start with our finger licking piquant recipe:

Ingredients (For gravy):

1. Baby Potatoes: 10-12
2. Onions (finely chopped): 1 cup
3. Ginger-Garlic paste: 1 tbsp
4. Tomatoes(medium sized): 3 (finely chopped)
5. Fennel seeds: 1/2 tsp
6. Fenugreek seeds: 1/4 tsp
7. Black Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
8. Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
9. Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
10. Dry red chilies: 1
11. Turmeric powder: 1 tbsp
12. Kashmiri red chili powder: 1 tbsp
13. Cumin powder: 1 tbsp
14. Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
15. Amchur powder: 1 tbsp
16. Asafoetida (a pinch)
17. Mustard Oil for cooking (preferred)
18. Salt to taste
19. Green chilies (adjust to your taste)
20. Cilantro for garnishing
21. Green Peas (optional)

Ingredients (For Achari Masala):

1. Fennel seeds: 1/2 tsp
2. Fenugreek seeds: 1/4 tsp
3. Black Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
4. Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
5. Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
6. Dry red chilies: 1


1. Dry roast all the ingredients mentioned under "For Achari Masala". Let it cool down and coarsely ground it and keep it aside. Your achari masala is ready. 

2. Wash and peel the potatoes (I don't like to boil them since peeling them gets very tough and the shape of the potatoes gets bad). Prick them with a fork and marinate with salt and turmeric powder for 10 mins.

3. Take a heavy bottomed pan. Heat mustard oil on medium heat till smoking hot this will help to reduce its pungency. You can also use vegetable or canola oil. Fry the potatoes till they get a nice golden color. Take out the potatoes and set aside.

4. In the same pan (add more oil if needed) add fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds, black cumin seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and dry red chili. Let them crackle, take care not to burn them. Add a pinch of asafoetida.

5. Add the chopped onions and fry them till they become translucent. Now its time to add the ginger-garlic paste and fry them till the raw smell is gone. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till they become soft and pulpy.

6. Once the oil gets separated add turmeric powder, kashmiri red chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, amchur powder. Cover the lid and cook for 1 min. 

7. Add the fried baby potatoes and coat them with the masala. Add a cup of water, green chilies and green peas (optional). Let it cook for 5 mins with lid on top.

8. Open the lid and check the seasoning. Sprinkle the achari masala and stir with light hands. Switch off the heat. Garnish it with cilantro.

9. Enjoy your Achari Aaloo with Naan, Paratha or Chapati.


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  1. Very nice recipe. The ingredients for achari masala are really good. Thanks came to know about black cumin seeds :)

    1. Thank You.......Black Cumin Seeds are commonly known as "Kalonji" in hindi.