Saturday 28 April 2012

Kashmiri Dum Aloo

I am surrounded by good cooks. But to be a good cook & to help another proceed on the path of culinary fulfillment are two distinct qualities. Like you may be a gold medallist in your specialized field but can you impart that knowledge to another? More importantly, do you want to? When there is no remuneration involved? When there is nothing involved? That's what distinguishes ordinary from its extra-prefixed sibling. 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The league of extraordinary people do things for the sheer love of it. Not for anything that comes out of the act. Of course here the need is greater. The need to feel good about the Self is the most potent need of all. Bro. Chris uploads school activity pics on fb because photography is his passion. If that pleases the parents, makes them feel more connected to their ward who are in a faraway boarding and generates overall happiness, that is just a by-product of Brother's passion. Is he doing it thinking of the dividends? No. He is doing it because he likes to. Because he wants to. The energy of any passion is so strong that it will, inevitably, bring returns. To say that the act was undertaken for profit would be myopic. 
                                                                                                    Sheetal is a good cook apart from being good many-things. Recently conferred with the Midwestern (MPA) Research Award, this scholar not only finds time to cook, which she says is like meditation for her, but also has the enthusiasm to click step-by-step pictures of the Kashmiri Dum Aloo, for our Food Stall. Cooking is like art for me, says the prodigy. The more you experiment, let go, and listen to your inner self, the better it turns out to be.  As you try this delectable dish friends, follow our Head Chef's suggestion. Just let go & listen to that voice within. It never lies....   
                                                                                                        This dish is ready in less than 30 minutes including preparation.

1. 3 medium sized potatoes (cut into 1 inch big pieces)
1 cup plain yogurt 
3. 1.5 tbsp saunf (aniseed) powder 
4.  1 tsp hing(asafoetida) powder
5.  1 tsp ginger powder (saunth)
6.  2 tsp dhania(coriander) powder
7.  3 tsp Kashmiri Mirch for colour 
8.  Red chilli powder  as preferred 
9.  6 cloves - ground
10. 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
11 . 1 cup water for gravy
12. Salt- to taste
13. Cooking oil- mustard/canola/any vegetable except olive oil
 1. Deep fry potatoes with a pinch of hing and powdered clove until golden brown. Keep aside on absorbent paper. 

2. In a separate pan, heat 1 tbsp oil, add the rest powdered clove, hing, all the spices, and fry lightly.
Don't let the spices burn.
Add the saunf powder and salt towards the end.

3. Add  yogurt and water to the spices and let simmer for 30 secs.
Add extra watery if you want more gravy. 

4. Add fried potatoes to the gravy, cover wok & simmer for 2-3 mins. 

Turn off  stove and let Dum Aloo rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Serve hot with plain white rice.

Chef Speaks: Kashmiri food tastes best when spicy and eaten with fingers! The potatoes have a distinct taste even when you mix it in the gravy because of the hing and clove in the oil while frying.
Feel the unique flavours of the aloo and gravy tango in your mouth with the plain rice! Enjoy!

Thank you for the recipe Sheetal. I am overwhelmed.

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