The love that Bongs cherish for potatoes (aloo) is known to everyone. In fact, we are famous for our penchant for this highly-regarded vegetable. We can devour potatoes in any form – boiled, fried, tossed in a curry, burnt (just kidding)! However, one of my personal favourites is aloo bhaja – the Bengali-style fried potatoes.
Don’t confuse aloo bhaja for an ordinary fried potato recipe. It is much more than that. In fact, it can brighten up even the most boring and bland meal. It can be the saving grace when you have to feed a bunch of people but only have time to prepare rice and dal. Aloo bhaja goes just as well with your cup of evening tea.
Now, there are many versions of aloo bhaja. Some recipes call for the potato to be cut in rounds and fried in hot oil. Others like to add a dash of poppy seeds. You can even dice the potatoes and saute them with spices of your choice. However, the one that tops my list is jhuri aloo bhaja.
If you are a Bengali, you have had this delicacy at weddings and other special occasions. You may even have had this every Sunday when your family sat down together to have lunch. If you are not a Bengali, you have no idea what magic you have been missing all these years. Jhuri aloo bhaja is no regular fried potato dish.
Without further delay, I present to you the glorious recipe for jhuri aloo bhaja:
- Potatoes, 2 pcs
- Curry leaves, 3-4 pcs
- Peanuts, 1/2 cup
- Salt, to taste
- Oil, for frying
- Peel the potatoes and soak in water for at least half an hour.
- Dry roast the peanuts and set aside.
- Grate the potatoes to into fine thin shreds.
- Heat oil in a wok and add the curry leaves when smoke starts rising.
- Next, add the grated potatoes and fry until they turn golden brown.
- Add the peanuts and fry for a few more minutes.
- Turn off the heat when the potatoes start darkening in colour. Make sure you don’t overheat, else the potatoes will burn.
- Use a strainer to remove the potatoes from the oil.
- Season with salt.
- Serve hot with plain rice and dal.