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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Aloo Matar Ka Jhol: Spicy Potatoes and Peas Stew:

"Bana lo aloo matar ka jhol" I still remember the street vegetable vendor yelling on top of his lungs while trying to sell potatoes and peas stacked up on his four wheeled hand pushed cart.

To this day it is a common way of selling vegetables in Indian market, despite of recent emergence of new fancy grocery stores and food malls.

Ladies love to bargain and hand pick the veggies from these vendors, where he or she would weigh the vegetables in old fashion hand held weighing scale (Tarajoo) by placing the iron weights, marked in grams and kilograms, which are very often not fairly calibrated.

This is a typical morning or evening scene of typical vegetable market of Agra Where I grew up. Or the vendor will come to your house pushing this cart and you buy the veggies right at your door steps.

Yes, I grew up in Agra, Uttar Pradesh India, this is where I learned most of my cooking.

The spicy stew is commonly known as "Jhol" in several parts of India and this spicy potato and peas stew is called "Aloo Matar Ka Jhol" in Agra. My mom used to make this side dish very often...and to this is my favorite dish. I love it with rice and side of yogurt...yummm !!

This recipe yields about 8 servings.


* 4-5 potatoes

* 10 oz pack of frozen peas

* 1 large yellow onion

* 1" piece of ginger

* 4 cloves of garlic

* 4 tablespoon of oil

* 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds

* 1 bay leaf

* 1/2 teaspoon of black mustard seeds

* 1/2 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds

* 1/4 teaspoon of asafetida

* 2 tables spoon of coriander powder

* 1 tablespoon of cumin powder

* 1/2 teaspoon of garam masala

* 2-3 tablespoon of cayenne pepper powder (or to taste)

* 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder

* 2 tables spoon of Paprika powder

* 1 tables spoon of Mango powder

* 1/4 cup of fresh lime juice

* Salt to taste

* 1 and a 1/2 cup of crushed tomatoes from a can

* 6 cups of water

* 1/4 cup cilantro leaves chopped


* Boil potatoes, peel and cut them in to large pieces, set aside.

* Empty the peas in microwave safe container and sprinkle some water.

* Microwave the frozen peas for 3 min.

* Set aside.

* Grind garlic, ginger in a food processor and set aside.

* In the same food processor finely chop onion.

* Heat oil in a pan.

* When oil is hot, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds.

* When the seed crackle, add bay leaf and asfetida.

* Add ginger garlic paste and saute until slightly brown.

* Add chopped onions and saute until translucent and light brown.

* Add all the dry spices and salt except some paprika and cayenne pepper and stir fry for 30 sec.

* Add crushed tomatoes from a can.

* Cook for 1 min, add water simmer until boils.

* Add potatoes and peas and simmer to desired consistency.

* Add remaining paprika, cayenne pepper and lime juice.

* Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.

* Serve hot with chapati, Naan or Basmati rice.

Recipe Modified by Surekha from a recipe by her mom Mrs. Kasturben S.

Photographs by Surekha.

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