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I first had these spiced Gujarati Aloo in D.C., thanks to my father’s cousin Mariam who would often bring them over to our place as a savory side.
While there was never an aloo (potato) dish I didn’t like, these Gujarati aloo are special. They work well served at room temperature, and draw upon a spice profile different from the one I grew up with (this aloo sabzi version is one that I was more familiar with).
So I reached out to Mariam to share this recipe as part of my drive to capture a more complete picture of what Pakistani cuisine looks and tastes like. And was thrilled when she finally taught me how to make this delicious, mysterious potato dish.
Thanks to her Karachi upbringing, Mariam was exposed to a much more diverse culinary palette as a child than I was. She learned to make these spiced potatoes (and this masoor moong daal) not from her mother but from her Gujarati friends.
Rumor has it that this dish originally became popular with the Gujarati trader community because it stores and travels easily. I like it because it’s delicious, easy and takes than less than 10 minutes of active cooking time.
Gujrati Aloo (Spiced Potatoes)
- 3 medium-sized potatoes
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- 2 tbsp oil canola/sunflower/vegetable
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 4 fresh kadi patta/curry leaves
- 4 dried red chilies preferably round
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- 5 tbsp full-fat yogurt brought to room temperature
- Boil potatoes till soft. Peel them and cut each potato in equal parts.
- Gently toss chopped potatoes in a bowl with salt and red chili flakes. Set aside.
- In a large wok, heat oil. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, kadi patta, and dried chilies (in that order). On medium-low heat, briefly fry till they change color, making sure they don’t burn, about 1 minute.
- Add turmeric powder and cumin powder, and fry till aromatic.
- Gently add the potatoes, coating them in the spices for a couple of minutes on medium heat.
- Remove from heat, and gently mix in yogurt.