Thursday, September 09, 2010

Alu Gajor er Tarkari

School has started. The weather too has decided that summer vacation is over. The car windows have signs of frost in the mornings and dusk comes in early. BS started 2nd grade and seems to like her class teacher a lot.

We have the same bus driver since last year, a sweet soul who drops off BS right in front of home and always has a cheery word in the morning. This is important because our current situation is such that walking even a few yards to a bus stop and waiting for the bus to drop off in the afternoon would be very inconvenient. The driver could have easily told us to do that given that there is one more kid down the road but thankfully she didn't. Thank God and bus drivers for the small blessings they scatter our way.

The only change BS faces is in her section and hence a change in some classmates. She hasn't complained about it yet and continues to meet her old friend during recess.

The morning commute however has been worse, worser(?), worsest(?) with start of school and looks like it is me who is the most overwhelmed with the start of a new school year. There is so much to get done during a day that I just wish the earth would spin slower or the girls grow up magically and go to college, live in a dorm, make their own meals and leave me alone. It is another thing that when that time comes I will cry my heart out, write sob stories and book a vacation to Greenland.

Talking of growing up either I am going nuts or the world is no longer the place of my childhood but I seem to have weighted questions on my mind these days. Like how do I tell BS to be safe when I am not around, I meant not "not around for ever", momentarily, an hour or two or eight. Like is it okay to drop her off at one of her activity classes and then spend that 45 minutes contemplating what to make for dinner while roaming the streets with shrieking LS in the car seat.

Do you sit through your kid's activity classes or do you just drop and pick up ? What if it is a solo activity and you are not too familiar with the instructors ? What do you do, I desperately need to know.

The Alu Gajor er Tarkari/Potato and Carrot sabzi is a quick dry dish usually prepared during the winter days back home when the first sweet orange carrots of the season have made their appearance and green peas are in plenty. It would be served with rutis hot off the tawa on cold evenings or with parota/paratha on Sunday breakfast.

I made neither ruti nor parota. But I like it with rice and BS does too.

Sometimes I give BS rice mixed with a dry vegetable dish or lemon rice/fried rice for her school lunch.This was a friend's brilliant idea and works for at least one lunch a week. The Alu Gajor er tarkari works well towards that purpose. I wish I could say BS happily ate this lunch of hers. But I will be honest, she didn't. I made her eat the leftover at home though and that she happily did.


Alu Gajor er Tarkari

Chop 3 potatoes in small cubes.

Peel and chop fresh carrots in cubes or longitudinally(cubes preferred). You can use frozen mix of carrots and peas too. I had 1 cup of carrots and 1/4 cup of green peas.

Heat Olive Oil/Canola Oil in a fry pan

Temper the oil with 1/2 tsp of Kalonji/Nigella Seeds and 4 green chili. If you like the smell of Hing/Asafoetida add a pinch

When the spices pop, add the potatoes and 1/4 tsp of turmeric. Saute for a minute

Add the carrots and saute for one more minute. Next add the peas. Add salt to taste.
Edited to Add: I add a tsp of fresh grated ginger too. I forgot.

Cover and cook with intermittent stirring. Sprinkle a little water if necessary, only little. The potatoes should retain their form and not be mushed up.

When the veggies are all done, not mushed up but done, add a few drops of lime juice and adjust for seasonings. This is usually a light dish with no spices overpowering the taste.

Similar Recipes:

Beet Gajor Chechki


  1. Hi,
    I luv the simplicity with which you weave your everyday stories into such a wonderful write up.
    I too remember mom making alu gajar bhaja during early winter months ..... the aroma all over the place. I miss the same with vegetables from supermarkets here :(

  2. Let the kids not grow too fast sandeepa, S is going away soon by end of this month and next wenesday she and I are going to her room to put few things and take measurment etc... and the thought make me so sad and gets me all welled up inside.
    Here we are lucky as her school has been just less than 3 minutes by walk from our home from the time when she started school

  3. Satrupa

    I got very good organic carrots, sweet and crunchy. But yeah those local haat er gajor would be better.


    I know. But at this moment when I have so much to do, I sometimes feel if they were a little older, it would be easier on me. But as I said when they do grow up & move away I will be very sad

  4. Beautiful color dear, loving it :)

  5. its very colorful n healthy combo ...looks delicious


  6. Do all moms think alike.....I often stare blank in the middle of the night with some nightmarish thoughts what a mom of a girl always fears of.....girls grow too fast that I am feeling when I am watching my lil one...I too sometimes feel to freeze the time and enjoy the moments more with her innocence stage....amader jodi akta jini ba aladin er lamp thakto tahole ki bhalo hoto boloto...

    Ei dish ta ami prayei kori..healthy and easy to make too...

  7. Bechara Boro S . Tumi boka khabey amaar kachhey . Why dont you toss some green peas and small paneer cubes in it to make it more interesting .

  8. Priya

    Thank U


    Ekhon mone hoy boro hole bhalo ar boro hole ulto ta mone hoy

    Maliika Di

    Did add peas, always do :-) Actually BS does like this sabzi and she also likes rice but I think that "rice in lunch" phase might be over for her ;-)

  9. Sandeepa,

    You can try it another way too, you may like it-

    For the phoron, instead of the kalonji user Jeera. And other than salt and turmeric, use little dhaniya powder and amchoor (in lieu of lemon juice.

  10. I wrote one long comment for this but it didn't sound logical at all - so, have a nice weekend.

  11. simple is good...Isn't it great how fantastic bengali veggie dishes are. One can simply use those recipes as templates for a million dishes :)

    I like nigella/ chilli idea. My mom made a lot with it :)

  12. tomar post ta porte porte amar Kolkata'r school er bairer drishyo mone porche. maa era bachader school e chere baire sakole bose adda day tarpare school sesh hole tader nie jay...
    ei tarkarita kakhano banaini. tabe dekhte daun. sakale breakfast e ruitr sange bhalo lagbe.
    between somoy pele amar blog ta dekho, akta post korechi hayto bhalo lagbe tomar.

  13. I would start off with a big hug for BS as she starts her 2nd grade in school.

    Yah, a quick fix fried rice is a great help. I sometimes give a quick tahiri.... popular with North Indians. Might post a tahiri recipe in my blog some day.

    My son loves it, hope you all will love it too.

    You can try this alu gajorer chachchori without holud as well, then the orange, green and white gives a nice hue to the food. May be a patriotic nudge for BS to remember later in life.

    Take care

  14. You lucked out with the bus driver Sandeepa, compared to DD's who scares me. As for activity classes dropping them off and picking them up depends on the place. If it is a solo activity going on with several other solos then leaving them and going off should not be a problem? If it is a place with only the instructor and the kid and no other kids or instructors around you have to use your best judgement else if it were me I would drop her and leave.

    Curious doesn't BS go to a private school? They have buses that drop off?

  15. I just love your stories...always with a touch of past memories and of childhood.Love this dish..

    Best Regards

  16. Have a few carrots lying,u have chalked out my menu for lunch today.Thanx!Sounds yummmm too.

    Re:I will cry my heart out, write sob stories and book a vacation to Greenland.............U sure will,am going thru this phase now.Enjoy it while they last!I've just memories now......all good as I cherished/cherish every moment of their childhood.

  17. That is a lovely and delicious dish! I am an absolute fan of kalonji!!

  18. Sandeepa,
    Big hugs to BS for starting in year 2..and amra gajor bhaja sodhu banae ..ekto jeerey and kancha lonka phoron diye..aloo diye dekhte hobe eyibaar.Let them grow slowly dear, boro holo oder independent life e amader dorkar hobe na :-)..
    hugs and smiles

  19. Shreya's Mom

    yeah amchoor will be good for a slight Non Bong taste


    Now I have this desperate urge to know what you wrote


    My mom uses Nigella/Green Chili combo a lot too, more than jeera.


    Ha, ha...tao to oi Mayera ki shundor adda dite parto. Eikhane to oishob nei :(


    I made Doi Murgi with your inputs. See my last post.Have never made Tahiri, tell me.


    Yeah BS still goes to same private school but it is in my town and they have same buses like the public school. But the school starts an hour early and gets off an hour earlier than PS.

    Next year she will go to public school and that bus will not stop in front of my home. I guess because they have more kids to pick up.

    Will e-mail you my concern


    Thank You :)


    Yeah this one is a delight if you can make chapati/luchi/paratha too


    The spice for tempering makes such a diff, doesn't it ?


    Hyan amar Ma ekta shudhu gajor ar peyaj diye banay, oitao khub bhalo hoy

  20. I am enjoying these types of simple recipes lately... Looks great!

  21. Looks good....does the carrot make this sweet?
    I made something like this for lunch this Sunday - 1 carrot, 1 capsicum, 1 potato, 1 chunk of pumpkin and 5 mushrooms - as you can see, whatever was accessible from the crisper in quick succession! Different tempering and different masala from the usual and we were done.

    K is 5 and goes to a jazz dance class down the road - in the premises of her former pre school. She has been going since she was 3.5 and loves it. Depends on the environment I guess - this one is a familar place for her since she spent 2 years there. The teachers are 2, 20-somethings - a guy and a girl - very nice people and very responsible about the kids and don't let them out of their sight - plus it is a small place and not rambling - Just 2 classes on the ground floor.

    So, yes, I haven't had anyone sit through the whole time, even though I can have my babysitter do that. The 2 other kids whose Moms I know also are ok to leave the kids and come back for them after an hour.

    But I recently checked out a music school since she was keen on learning vocal music. The teacher is a very nice Bengali lady, motherly almost with the young kids. But it is held in the basement of a residential two storeyed building which about 2 km from home. If and when I decide to send her there, I would make sure the babysitter waited the whole one hour. I guess it is all about comfort levels..

    How comfortable are you with the set up? and the tutor? Is your daughter at an age where she can articulate any misgivings?

    I'm sure whatever you do, will be the best for your child - thats what parents do. But we do our best.and worry.



  22. Miri

    Not much, we like sweet you know.

    Yeah you are right about the comfort level, only this class that we started recently is 45 mins long and there is no lounge or anything where I can sit the whole time with LS. Though LS has her nanny at home, now that she(LS) is getting older she doesn't want to leave me once I am home :( So she trudges along to all of BS's classes.

    But last Fri, I met someone at this class who said her sons went here as kids and now they are in college. They spoke highly of all the instructors so I am guessing it should be ok. Strangely it is a Taekwondo class where they learn self defense, the irony of it.

  23. Just to comment on the after school activity thing, I tagged with some mom-friends from my daughters school and joined activities that their kids are in. That way my kid knew at elast one or two kids in the activity. One of the moms lives near me, so we have started car-pooling, I take both kids one week, she takes them the next. We both feel we need to be there during the session, just in case theres an accident, or someone gets sick etc. But this way, we only have to do it once every two weeks. If there is no lounge, then your only option is visiting stores nearby, but then that defeats the purpose of staying there which leaves option 3 - the parking lot and a goodbook or any portable chores e.g. bills,mail etc that needs to be finished! Even if Little Sister is clingy, she needs to stay home at that point, be firm, you have the luxury of a nanny! A little kid locked in a car with you in a parking lot sounds ....pretty bad =)
    My $0.02

  24. Ann

    That would have worked perfect.In fact some of BS's friends from pre-school go here. But since there is no fixed day rule for this class, I don't see them every time.

    I think I will drop off and come back, it is only 5 mins from my home anyway.

  25. Perfect! My mom wa sheer visiting moi soem tiem ago and she'd pack the same with paratha for brownbag lunches at work!! some things stay the same?? :)

  26. Kalonji, instead of Jeera, and no dry spices...very interesting and a must try!!!


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