Today’s recipe of the day is a very easy and simple potato curry in Bengali style from my mum’s kitchen! The combination of this potato curry with luchi is simply out of this world and beyond any description!
If there is one special dish I am asked to mention from my childhood days which has defined comfort food for me, then it would definitely be luchi and shada aloor torkari! Bengalis may have already become my soulmate hearing this heavenly combination but for others, let me explain this. Luchi is nothing but poori only difference being that Bengalis generally make it with maida (all-purpose flour) as opposed to wheat flour and shada aloor torkari can be decoded as “white (as in shada) potato (as in aloo) curry (as in torakri). You may be wondering why ‘white’! Valid question I agree! Allow me to explain.
Generally Bengalis add a little too much turmeric powder in all their typical curries but this potato curry has minimal turmeric which is why it is less yellow and more whitish in appearance as compared to other Bengali curries. Hence it is called ‘shada’ aloor torkari. This potato curry is the easiest of all curries I have made so far since the beginning of my cooking adventures; but not even half a degree less in taste or flavor. I could still remember the inexplicable pleasure I used to feel as a child while gulping this potato curry scooped inside a piece of luchi!
Honestly speaking, this humble recipe of Bengali potato curry may not seem too special to be shared on a blog. But this potato curry is not just another recipe; it is my nostalgia and I relive my childhood in this. That’s the very reason I keep on going back to this potato curry. This was my mum’s specialty on Sunday morning. Even though I was not aware of the word ‘Brunch’ at that time, but now I realize that I had already started to have my weekend brunch quite early! Our Sundays would have been incomplete if we, me and my brother, were not served the luchi and torkari for a late breakfast every Sunday!
As I write this, my childhood Sundays are becoming visible in front of me and it is taking me down the memory lane! I could see my mum busy in the kitchen preparing for a lavish weekend lunch which usually implied chicken or mutton curries. (For some unknown reason, meats were not prepared at home during weekdays and was specially reserved for Sundays and I still wonder why.) I could also see my father back from his successful grocery & vegetable shopping trip. Then there is my elder brother and me having fun with our plates of luchi and potato curry! Some memories never fade and always give me kind of goosebumps as I traverse down its lane. This potato curry is not a recipe for me, it’s my childhood cooked with all the treasurable ingredients called memories!
- Potato – 5, large
- Mustard oil – 2 tbsp
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Green chili – 2, slit halfway through lengthwise
- Turmeric – ¼ tsp
- Sugar – ½ tsp
- Salt to taste
- Peel and cut the potatoes into small cubes of about 2 cm length. Wash the potato cubes and boil in salted water until ¾th done. This would take about 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
- Heat the mustard oil in a wok. Temper it with cumin seeds and slit green chilies. Let the cumin seeds crackle for few seconds and become aromatic.
- Now add the half-cooked potatoes and turmeric powder. Sauté them on medium-low heat for 10 minutes until the potato cubes turn very light golden. (Do not fry the potatoes to dark brown, then it will loose its characteristic of simplicity.)
- Then add about 1 cup of water and bring it to boil. Season it with salt to taste and half a teaspoon of sugar.
- Cook uncovered on low until the potatoes are completely cooked and the liquid is reduced by half. The curry is not too saucy neither too dry; just adjust the consistency according to your liking.
- Remove the potato curry from heat and serve warm with luchi/poori which is the best combination with this curry; else serve it with chapatti or phulkas. Enjoy!