Potatoes in Curd Gravy

Dahi Aloo( Potatoes in curd gravy)

An extremely simple recipe which will almost take you by surprise. Not because of the taste which is absolutely stupendous, but because of the magic that is created with the addition of  just one element,which results in inventing such a glorious recipe.Curd is thy name which is the hero here.

Ideally ,it’s origins I guess lies in the Rajastnai cusine.But the first time I savored this dish was from my friend and colleague ,Archana, as she shared her lunch with me in Office when we worked for a reputed fashion house.This was years back.She would bring these amazing homemade curd based recipes that would compliment her ghee laded rotis. And my most favorite amongst them would be the gatte ki subji and aloo(potatoes) dahi (curd). Until then the thought of adding just plain curd to conceive a dish was unimaginable to me for I had no understanding of this style of cooking. And obviously with the more then obvious reason of the curd breaking into granules would never let my imagination divulge into the creativity of making a dish out of curd.And as  it may  look simple, the curd to not curdle is a task in hand. But as i learnt  over the years having tried and tasted , I realised the art of making the perfect curd-water ratio and combination to arrive at a wonderful gravy that would actually compliment a majority of veggies,.
And for the unknown and who still struggle to make that perfect gravy without the curdling of the curd( I know there are many like me who struggled for years ) the two most important elements would be :

1. The curd has to be kept in room temperature for  some time before you start making the gravy
2.The curd and water combo has to be beaten very well with no lumps
3. Needs to be cooked on low flame

Once you get these factors right, you will be surprised at your own skills of handling the temperamental curd and taming it to form the most luscious gravy with a royal touch of the aromatic ghee(clarified butter). Ghee added to this dish is what makes it a delight , a recipe from the royal kitchen I would say.It elevates this dish to a level that which can have competing claims for the best veg recipes in any event in terms of taste and flavor

Ingredients

Potatoes-3
Curd-1 cup
water- 1/2 cup(you can add more or even  lesser quantity of  water depending on how thick the gravy you want)
Salt-as per taste
Sugar- a pinch
Cumin Powder-1 tsp
Red Chilly Powder-1/2 tsp
Ghee(Clarified Butter)-3 tbsp(You can use even just 1 tbsp, but since I wanted it to dominate the flavor,i used 3 tbsp)
Asafoetida- a pinch
ginger juveniles- 1 tsp
coriander leaves- little
cumin seeds- 1tsp
mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
coriander powder- 1.2 tsp
Kashmiri red chilly powder- 1/2 tsp
green chilies(optional)- 1 finely chopped

I haven’t used turmeric here and the beautiful reddish color is formed because of the kashmiri red chilli powder.You can use turmeric if you desire.

Method:

  • Boil the potatoes, cut into big chunks and keep aside
  • In a bowl mix the curd,water, red chilli powder, kashmiri chilli powder, cumin powder, ginger juveniles ,salt, sugar and beat and keep aside
  • In a pan, add Ghee, and add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds and green chillies if you wish( i didnt use any).Once the seeds start crackling,  add the potatoes, the asafoetida and fry for a while with coriander powder , and ginger juveniles
  • Remove the pan from the flame,add the curd mixture and put it back on low flame again and  keep stirring so that the curd does not curdle.Add additional salt if required
  • Cook for 3-4 minutes and when the gravy starts to thicken add chopped coriander leaves and serve

Tasty, tangy,a dish connoting simplistic treatment at its best.The ghee and curd combo releases an exotic aroma, taking this dish to another level.

That’s what I like best about curd(yoghurt).It’s versatility inspite of being temperamental. The way it blends itself to varied curries and forms a unique and distinct taste complementing that particular veggie is just amazing.According to culinary and regional tastes, it merges with the taste of that specific culture.Although we know that curd is mostly used in  Rajasthani cooking and to an extent gujrati also, that curd makes its appearance in almost majority of their  gravies, yet it can work out wonders even in other cuisines or desserts. Hailing form the eastern community, we have  a very famous dish “doi maach”(fish in curd) which brings out the flavor of curd in its vibrant form in the eastern gastronomy delights,Here the curd is not tangy but sweet. With river water fish it just blends it so gloriously to give the fish a discerning flavorful effect. But the  gravies cooked in rajasthani cooking are devoid of any sugar is what I believe, the hero of the dish would be the natural tanginess of the curd which actually give the veggies a taste And with ghee, it just forms an incredible luxury of gourmet food.
The color of the red chilli powder intermixed with the curd gives out a wonderful color that which is accentuated and enhanced by the ghee which is so overbearing.The tanginess of the curd is beautifully mellowed down by the taste of the ghee which plays  a dominating role in forming and sealing that “likeable taste” with your taste buds. For most Indians, anything with ghee just tastes so good, so here the ghee is like the “top coat” that which almost guarantees the perfect , unbeatable taste of this gravy.

So if ghee is what you like, then this is a dish that you cannot deny.The calories can be left behind for the day as you soak into the wonderful aromatic gravy.Just plain rice or phulkas(indian bread) will complete this simple meal.

Apart from showcasing its simplistic treatment with outstanding results, it can surely boast itself of a dish high up in your maincourse entree on a specific vegetarian day or your next house event.Suddenly potatoes look so royal and glorious with just the combo of ghee and curd that it will keep your guests wanting for more!

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