Bengalis and only bengalis can come up with a term like "Niramish Alu Dom". I mean isn't it plain common sense that Alu Dom IS a "niramish" aka vegetarian dish. But Bongs are so fastidious about their vegetarian food that they divide it in two categories --- (1) the regular vegetarian cooked with vegetables but may contain onion and garlic and (2) the strict satvik vegetarian which uses no onion or garlic.
Onion and garlic are considered as "rajasik" or "tamasik" food which increases body heat and supposedly fuels passion and ignorance. About ignorance I am ignorant but I can imagine the heights of passion that an onion-garlic breath can bring about. Passion to run away.
But honestly as I said earlier if I have to choose between not shedding tears on my allium and passion, I will go with the former. I am very passionate about my comfort that way. So I was super interested in this super vegetarian alur dom that my Ma made. No onion. No garlic.The Other aloor dom on my blog does have onion after all.
My Ma, the queen of matching up spices with vegetables makes this Alur Dom with the Bhaja Masla that she makes. The smoky, intense bhaja masla makes a spicy gravy that clings to the potatoes like my 3 yr old is wont to do with me. she also uses Methi seeds and Hing which gives off a beautiful flavor to the hot oil and thus the dish. It is an extremely simple recipe with tantalizing results. You wouldn't believe that something so delicious could turn up with such an easy recipe. I mean easy if PBJ sandwich is not the only thing you eat or cook or know about. But even then this is easier than a finely made PBJ sandwich. Me thinks
Wishing you all a Very Colorful Holi with this Alur Dom. Stay Tuned as I have something to share with you in the next post. Till then "Dhoom Macha De...Raang Jama de"
Niramish Alu Dom
Potatoes -- 14 small red ones
Boil for 10-15minutes in salted water till partly cooked
Peel skin, prick the potatoes randomly and toss them with salt, 1 tsp of ginger paste and 1/2 tsp of Kashmiri Mirch
Edited on April 30th, 2013: In another version I toss the potatoes with salt, ginger powder, amchoor powder, kashmiri mirch and black pepper powder and then fry. The black pepper adds a beautiful layer to the dish
Next heat 2 tbsp of White Oil + 1/2 tsp ghee.
Temper the Oil with
2 Bay Leaf
2 Dry Red Chili
1 star anise
15-20- methi seeds
1/4 tsp of Hing
Switch off the heat and let the oil soak in the flavor of the spices. Switch back on again.
Add 2 large tomato finely chopped along with 5 green chili chopped in rounds. Or puree 2 large tomatoes with 5 green chili and add that. Fry for 6-7 minutes till the tomato is mushed up and reduced to a sorry pulp.Puree is a better option. Also little tomato paste along with fresh tomatoes works wonder.Note: I had made this alu dom very spicy, you can adjust the chili heat to suit your style.
1/2 tbsp of grated ginger
and fry for 2 more minutes.
In a bowl make a paste of
1 tbsp yogurt
+ 1/2 tbsp of Corriander powder
+ 1 tbsp and 1 tsp of Bhaja Masla. (Bhaja Masla recipe is here. It is the last one.)
Lower heat and add the paste.
Add 1/2 tsp of Red Chili powder.
Fry the masala, sprinkling water as needed for couple of minutes. Add the potatoes, toss in the masala.
Add about 1 cup of water, salt to taste, 1/2 tsp of sugar and simmer. Cook covered till potatoes are done.
Garnish with chopped coriander and two green chili chopped in thin rounds.