Recipes: Masala Potatoes

A very basic recipe, which can be modified to make it slightly richer as well as made with other vegetables and probably even meat, this gravy can also be made in advance and be frozen for when you need to make something in a hurry.

Masala Potatoes


  • 4-5 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 medium-sized onions, chopped roughly
  • 3 medium sized tomatoes, chopped roughly
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Carom seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 4-5 almonds
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1-2 tbsp garam masala powder
  • 1-2 tbsp Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil


  • Keep the chopped potatoes in a pan of water so that it does not oxidise while you make the gravy.
  • In a pan, heat 1 tbsp oil and then add 1 tsp cumin seeds and let it splutter. Then add the fennel and carom seeds and stir for a few seconds each before adding the next spice.
  • When the spices splutter, add the garlic and ginger and saute it for a few seconds.
  • Then add the almonds and stir for a minute or so.
  • Now add the onions and saute till it turns translucent. When the onions turn translucent, add the chopped tomatoes and give it a good stir.
  • Add around a tsp of salt to let the onion and tomato become mushy. At the same time, add the red chilli powder, cumin powder and coriander powder and stir well.
  • Once the tomatoes are completely cooked and mushy, remove from the flame, let it cool down completely and then blend to a fine paste. You can add water as needed to thin it down while blending.
  • Drain the potatoes and keep aside.
  • In the same pan, use the balance oil and when it becomes warm, add the remaining cumin seeds. When the seeds start to splutter, add the turmeric powder and the asafoetida and then quickly add in the drained potatoes. Add a bit of salt, cover and cook on a low to medium flame till the potatoes are almost cooked.
  • At this point, pour in the prepared gravy and stir well, letting it come to a boil. Check the seasoning at this point and add what is missing.
  • Add the garam masala and crush the Kasuri Methi in the palms of your hands before sprinkling it over the gravy.
  • Let the gravy come to a nice rolling boil, reduce the flame and continue to boil for another five minutes.
  • Remove from the flame, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with any rice or Indian flatbread.


  • This is a very basic gravy and if you want to make it richer, you can add cashew nuts along with almonds when cooking. Also adding cooking cream while the gravy is boiling (towards the end) will make it more rich and creamy.
  • I made this with only potatoes, but you can add any combination of vegetables, including paneer (or tofu), cauliflower, peas, carrots etc to make it more wholesome.

Recipes: Sweet Sour Potatoes

When I was in college, I used to make a potato recipe in a tamarind sauce a lot. That was a signature dish I had discovered in a magazine, most likely Women’s Era and had written it down. I did not bring that notebook with me when I moved to Singapore and now that recipe is lost.

The other day I suddenly started thinking of that recipe and turned to Google to see if I can find it somewhere in the world wide web. Unfortunately, I could not remember most of the ingredients and hence could not verify if any of the recipes were the same.

I did read a recipe from Sanjeev Kapoor which I felt was the closest to what I remembered and so adapted this recipe to my own. So here’s my version of tangy and sweet-sour potatoes.

Sweet Sour Potatoes


  • 1 cup potatoes, scrubbed well and cut into long fingers with the jacket on
  • 1 lemon-sized ball of tamarind, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes and pulped and make it into 2 cups of tamarind water (or if you are using tamarind paste, use 2-3 tsp of the same)
  • 2 tbsp (more or less) Jaggery (you can alternate this with brown sugar if you don’t have access to jaggery)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 3-4 dried red chillies
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida
  • 1 tsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 tsp oil
  • Salt to taste


  • In a dry pan, dry roast the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, coriander seeds and chillies separately till they start to emit a nice aroma. Make sure you don’t burn the spices. Keep aside, cool and blend into a fine powder.
  • Heat oil in a largish pan and when the oil heats up, add the mustard seeds and let them pop. When they pop, add the asafoetida and stir for a couple of seconds. Then add in the powdered spice mix and stir for a couple of seconds.
  • Then pour in the tamarind water and jaggery and some salt and let it come to a nice rolling boil.
  • After about five minutes, when the raw smell of the tamarind goes away, add the potatoes and let them cook. Cook the potatoes till a knife pierced through one, goes in cleanly. Don’t overcook them. Check for salt at this point and add more if needed.
  • Finish off with taking the kasuri methi in the palms of your hands and crush it to release the oils and aroma and sprinkle it over the potatoes and gravy.
  • Switch off the gas and garnish with chopped coriander. Serve with rice or rotis (Indian flatbreads)
  • Recipe: Aloo Matar Paneer

    Another simple, rustic recipe, straight from the Punjabi heartland, this recipe is also courtesy of my helper R. According to her, this version is what is made in weddings in her village and is a super yummy dish which goes very well with any Indian flatbread. A version of this recipe was what I also made when I cooked a non-South Indian dish for the first time. This recipe was taught to me by a neighbour.

    Aloo Matar Paneer


    • 2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and chopped
    • 1 cup frozen green peas
    • 1/2 pack frozen paneer, refreshed in a pan with hot water for 30 minutes
    • 2 medium-sized onions, chopped roughly
    • 4 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped roughly
    • 1-inch piece of ginger, chopped roughly
    • 8-10 cloves of garlic
    • 2 tbsps oil (I use a canola-olive blend)
    • 2 tsp cumin seeds
    • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
    • 2 tsp coriander seeds powder
    • 2 tsp red chilli powder
    • 2 dried red chillies
    • 2 tsp cumin seed powder
    • a handful of cashew nuts
    • 1 tsp garam masala powder
    • Salt to taste
    • Coriander leaves to garnish


    • Pour hot water over the cashew nuts in a dish and keep aside for 30 minutes till the nuts are soft.
    • Grind together onion, tomatoes, ginger, dried red chillies, garlic and cashew nuts and keep aside. Try not to use any water to make the paste and keep the paste smooth.
    • Chop the potatoes into 1-inch pieces and wash and keep aside.
    • Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and saute for a few seconds.
    • Add the ground tomato-onion paste and saute till it is browned. Keep stirring so it does not burn. Keep stirring till the oil starts leaving the pan.
    • Add the dry spices now – salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin powder and stir well.
    • Next, add potatoes and mix well.
    • Add around a quarter cup of water and mix well and cover and cook till the potatoes are almost done.
    • Now add the frozen green peas and mix. Cover and cook till the vegetables are done.
    • If the gravy appears to be thick, add some water to thin it.
    • Now add the paneer pieces and sprinkle the garam masala powder and let it simmer for five minutes.
    • Remove from the flame, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with any rotis or Indian flatbread.

    Recipes: Stir-fry Potatoes

    2A couple of weeks back when S’ cousins came home for dinner, I had made this potato dish which was inspired by the simple potato stir-fry from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. This is a very simple dish to make but is slightly heavy on the masalas used. It was super yummy and since then BB & GG have been asking me to keep making this. This dish is a keeper and goes very well with any rice and dal combination as well as with any roti or Indian flatbread. When I make it for lunch, BB also takes it with him to school, as a filling for a sandwich.

    1Potato Stir-fry, UP inspired


    • 4-5 medium sized potatoes, scrubbed and washed well
    • 2-3 tbsps oil
    • 1 tsp cumin seeds
    • ½ tsp fennel seeds
    • ½ tsp ajwain seeds
    • Salt to taste
    • ½ to 1 tsp red chilli powder
    • 1 tsp Amchur or dry mango powder
    • ½ tsp coriander powder
    • 1 tsp cumin powder
    • ½ tsp garam masala powder


    • Wash and scrub the potatoes well. Then slice them into thick slices and then cut vertically into 1 inch sticks and slice the sticks finely. Wash well and keep aside.
    • In a pan, heat the oil and when the oil is warm, put the dry masalas one by one – cumin seeds, then fennel seeds, caraway seeds and stir for a couple of seconds. Then add the salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, asafoetida, dry mango powder, cumin powder and coriander powder and stir for a few seconds.
    • Then add the potatoes and stir and mix well so that the masalas mix well with the potatoes.
    • Cover and cook on a low flame for around 10-15 minutes or until it is almost done.
    • At this point, add the garam masala powder, stir well and cover to cook for another 5 minutes.
    • Check for seasoning and switch off the flame.
    • Enjoy the potato stir-fry with rice or any flat bread


    Recipe: No Onion No Garlic Ajwaini Aloo Shimla Mirch aka Potatoes and Bell Peppers

    Another no onion no garlic recipe made during Navratri. This one has some ajwain or carom seeds in it. Carom seeds help in digestion as they facilitate the release of the e gut juices and thymol which is an essential oil from these seeds has local anesthetic, antibacterial and antifungal properties. These seeds are also very rich in fiber, minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants.

    Ajwani Aloo Shimla Mirch


    • 3 large potatoes, cut into long fingers (like french fries)
    • 2 green bell peppers, cut lengthwise
    • 1 tbsp carom seeds (ajwain)
    • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
    • 2 tomatoes, puréed
    • 1/2 cup yogurt, whisked until smooth
    • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
    • 1-2 tsp red chilli powder
    • 1 tsp coriander powder
    • 1 tsp cumin powder
    • 1 tsp cumin seeds
    • 1/2 tsp garam masala or sabzi masala powder
    • 1 tbsp oil
    • Salt to taste


    • Heat oil in a pan and when the oil is heated, add the cumin seeds and let it splutter.
    • Add the carom seeds and let splutter and then add the grated ginger and cook for a couple of seconds.
    • Add the potatoes and a bit of salt and cook till it is half done. Add the bell peppers and cook for a few minutes.
    • Now add the puréed tomatoes and the dry spices – red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and coriander powder and cook till the moisture evaporates from the tomatoes and the oil separates.
    • Now add the yoghurt and salt (if needed) and the garam masala/sabzi masala and cook for a few more minutes until the gravy comes to a rolling boil.
    • Garnish with coriander and serve hot with a flatbread or rice of your choice.