Potato, pah-tah-toe: however you say it, there’s no denying this humble tuber’s versatility and flavour. Spice up your spuds with Asma Khan’s Kaju Aloo – a dish you might have been lucky enough to taste if you’ve dined at Asma’s London restaurant, Darjeeling Express.
KAJU ALOO – POTATOES WITH CASHEW NUTS
Dosas are a South Indian speciality, thin crêpes made from a lentil and rice batter filled most commonly with a stuffing made from potatoes. However, my dosa-making skills are poor – I always fail to achieve the thin crisp crêpe that is the hallmark of a good dosa – so I console myself by making Kaju Aloo, the potato stuffing of my favourite masala dosa. The combination of mustard seeds, curry leaves and cashew nuts works really well in this dish. A word of advice: if you are using super-spicy green chillies in this recipe, you may want to reduce the quantity you use.
- 1kg large white potatoes (such as Maris Piper), unpeeled
- 6 green chillis
- 1 x 4cm piece fresh ginger
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 12 fresh curry leaves
- 1 tbsp cashew nuts
- 2 large onions, cut into small chunks
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp sugar
- Place the unpeeled potatoes in a large pan that has a lid and fill with water.
- Place the pan over a medium–high heat and bring to the boil.
- Lower the heat to low-medium and keep on a low rolling boil for 20–25 minutes. The cooking time for the potatoes will vary according to their variety, size and quality. Test the potatoes to check that they are cooked.
- Using the point of a sharp knife or skewer, pierce the middle of the largest potato. The potatoes should be tender but not falling apart. Once the potatoes are cooked, drain them in a colander and leave to cool. When they are cool enough to handle, remove the skins from the potatoes, then cut them into 2½cm cubes and set aside.
- Using a food processor, blitz the green chillies and ginger together to make a paste. If you want to reduce the heat of this dish, remove the chilli seeds.
- In a frying pan with a lid, heat the oil over a medium–high heat. Add the mustard seeds to the pan followed by the curry leaves and cashew nuts and cook until the cashew nuts darken in colour. Add the onions and cook until soft, translucent but not coloured.
- Add the chilli and ginger paste to the pan along with the ground turmeric, salt and 200ml water, bring to the boil, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and add the diced potato.
- Bring the mixture back to the boil, then lower the heat, add the sugar and cook, covered, for a further 10 minutes. If there is any excess water in the pan, remove the lid and cook over a high heat until the potatoes have a glossy sheen.
- Before serving, taste to check the seasoning and adjust with more salt or sugar as necessary.
Make it happen
Where to find it: Recipe from ‘Asma’s Indian Kitchen‘
Find out more: ‘Asma’s Indian Kitchen’ by Asma Khan is published by Pavilion Books, RRP £20
Read this: For Asma’s Saffron Chicken Korma recipe, click here. To read more about Asma Khan, her restaurant Darjeeling Express and Asma’s Indian Kitchen, click here
Photo credit: Kim Lightbody