Potato Sabji with South Indian flavors

Quick and Easy with flavors you don’t want to miss!

Urad daal and curry leaves are very prominent in South Indian preparation. The two ingredients add distinct aromas making any dish instantly tempting.

South Indian Potato Sabji

Cooking time - 15 min Prep time - 15 mins
Ingredients -
3 large potatoes, washed; peeled and chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped (I do it without onion)
1 tsp urad daal
1 tsp channa daal (optional)
1 tsp ginger, finely grated
for tadka -
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seed
1/4 tsp asafoetida powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
6-8 curry leaves, roughly chopped
5 dried red chillies, roughly chopped
3-4 tb poon oil
2 tsp salt or to taste
shredded coconut and chopped cilantro for garnish

A frying pan works better than a deep pan or kadhai due to larger surface area.

Prepare tadka in a pan over medium flame. Add urad daal and chana daal to tadka. Let the daal turn golden brown. Next goes red chilies and finely chopped onion, ginger and turmeric powder. Sauteé the onion for another 7-8 minutes. It’s time for curry leaves, let them fry for a minute and then add chopped potatoes. Sprinkle some salt. Mix well and let it cook for 4-5 minutes with lid on. Remove the cover and let them cook further.

Garnish with fresh coconut and chopped coriander leaves.

Tip –

The subji tastes better if potatoes become slightly crispy. Once potatoes become tender, remove the cover and let them cook further for a two – three minutes. This way potatoes don’t become soggy.

Vangi Batata – Unbeatable!

I adapted my mom’s recipe of “bharli vangi” to make it super simple and extremely delicious. The one thing I like about वांगी/brinjal/eggplant is it’s readily available in American grocery stores and this subji does not need any special ingredients. It’s super easy and super delicious.

vangi-batata

Ingredients
5-6 medium sized eggplants
2-3 small potatoes
For masala –
1 tb spoon dhana-jeera powder
2.5 tb spoon peanut powder (दाण्याचे कूट)
1 tsp kala masala ( गोडा मसाला )
1 tb spoon shredded coconut
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp sesame seeds (roughly powdered)
1 tsp tamarind paste (deep tamarind chutney works well)
1 tsp jaggery
for tadka (फोडणी)
1 tb spoon oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds,
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp hing powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
4-5 curry leaves
salt to taste

If you want you can make tamarind paste at home but I really like Deep Tamarind Chutney instead. But make sure you account for the salt and chili powder contained in this chutney.

Let’s get started. The whole did does not take more than 25 minutes. Wash eggplants and pat them dry and dice them and keep these cubes immersed in water added with a pinch of salt to avoid their discoloration. Same for potato. Time taken = 5 mins.

Prepare tadka in a pan and add curry leaves after you add turmeric powder. Now add potato cubes and few drops of water. Let it cook for 2 minutes with lid on. Now transfer eggplant cubes to the pan and add some more water. I like to use the same water used for immersing eggplant pieces. Again, if you decide to use this water, remember to adjust salt accordingly because the water does contain some salt. Now let it cook for 5-7 minutes before we add our masala.

Mix all dry ingredients of masala together except for tamarind paste and jaggery. If you add jaggery early in the process, eggplant and potato take longer to cook.

dry masala

Okay, so add the masala to the pan and also add some more water to mix it together. Add salt and let it cook for another 5-7 minutes. Eggplant doesn’t take long to cook so just make sure potatoes are cooked properly. Now add tamarind paste and jaggery and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes. Done. Yummy creamy vangi batata bhaaji is waiting for you!

Extra Credit –
Once I ran our of sesame seeds so instead I used तिळाची चटणी (dry sesame seed chutney) and कारळ्याची चटणी. Also add flax seed powder if you have some. It not only boosts omega-3 intake but gives the subji its creamy texture without using more oil.

Pav Bhaji – Yum O!

Pav bhaji is my weak point. It tastes best when you have it at a road-side place or not-so-healthy place 😉 It was a long time since I made it so when we invited Kandy for dinner, pav bhaji was our first choice. He loved it. This is how I made it.

Ingredients for bhaji :

Potatoes, boiled and smashed         3 medium
Tomatoes, finely chopped             3 medium
Onions, finely chopped            2 big (for bhaji) 1 small (for garnish)
Green pepper (capsicum), rough chopped      2-3 medium
Cauliflower, cut into big florets    1/2 small
Green peas                           1/2 bowl
Carrot, cut into medium peices       1/2 medium sized
Ginger, grated                       1 inch
Garlic, grated                       4-5 big cloves
Cilantro, finely chopped             8-9 springs for garnish
Oil                                  2 table spoons
Tomato puree (without garlic)        2-3 table spoons (optional)

Pav bhaji masala                    2 tea spoons ( or to taste ) (divided)
Red chili powder                    2 tea spoons ( or to taste )
cumin seeds                         1/2 tea spoon
Amul butter and Pav                 as per requirement.

If you are not making khada pav bhaji, roughly chop green pepper, carrots and potatoes. Add these veggies and also cauliflower florets to a pressure cooker with enough water to soak all veggies and let them cook for not more than 3 whistles. Add some salt and whole garam masala to the pressure cooker, if you like.

While that’s happening, finely chop onions and tomatoes, and also garlic and grate ginger. Heat oil in a big pan. I like to add some Amul butter with the oil, but feel free to skip this step. Add cumin seeds, don’t wait long till you add garlic else cumin seeds start burning. Let the garlic pieces turn brownish and then add onion. Add some salt which helps quicken the frying process. Once onions are done, add tomatoes and let them cook down. Add tomato puree, if you have it.

At this point, you are ready to add the masala. Add red chili powder and half of pav bhaji masala and let that mix nicely with the oil and rest of the ingredients. Don’t let it become dry, add some water if needed. And now it’s time for all other veggies and green mutter. If you are using frozen mutter, you can add them directly to the pan else you might want to cook them in advance. Drain the water and mash down the veggies using a wooden / steal masher. That’s makes that process very easy and add it to the masala. Also add the water you used for cooking the veggies. Now add salt and more masala if you like and let it come to a boil with lid on. Let it simmer for a few minutes and keep the lid on to lock down all flavors.

Now comes the best part, just before serving, heat some butter in a small tadka pan and add some pav bhaji masala and let it fry nicely. The smell is out of the world! Add this masala butter to the bhaji and mix it. That’s makes it restaurent style 🙂

Garnish it with chopped onions mixed with finely chopped cilantro and lemon juice! Enjoy with hot toasted pav and be gentle with the butter, just for that day 😉