Yamuna Devi Recipe #1 : Simple Potato and Green Pea Stew (Aloo Hari Matar Foogath)

With permission, I am serialising some superb recipes by my cooking guru, Yamuna Devi. Here’s the first. Before attempting to cook any of her recipes, make sure you are aware of the difference between US measures and Australian/metric measures. Confused? See below*

potato and peas:

Simple Potato and Green Pea Stew (Aloo Hari Matar Foogath)

This dish is popular through out North India. If you use ¾ cup (180 ml) of water, the texture should be dry. If you want a stew like consistency, add more water. This is an accompaniment to steamed rice.

Preparation and cooking time: 30-40 minutes
Serves: 6

3 tablespoons (45 ml) ghee or vegetable oil,
1 tablespoon (15 ml) scraped, finely shredded or minced fresh ginger root,
2 hot green chilies, seeded and minced (or as desired),
½ table spoon (7 ml) cumin seeds,
1 teaspoon (5 ml) black mustard seeds,
¼ teaspoon (1 ml) yellow asafetida powder (hing),
8 curry leaves, preferably fresh,
2 medium-sized tomatoes (about ¾ pound/340 g), peeled, seeded and chopped,
1 ½ pounds (685 g) waxy new potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾ inch (2 cm) thick fingers,
¾ teaspoon (3.5 ml) turmeric,
1 tablespoon (15 ml) ground coriander,
¾ – ½ cups (180-360 ml) water,
1 ½ cups (360 ml) fresh peas (1 ½ pounds/685 g) in pods or one 10-ounce (285 g),
package of frozen baby peas, defrosted,
1 ¼ teaspoons (6 ml) salt,
3 tablespoons (45 ml) chopped fresh coriander or parsley,

Heat the ghee or oil in a heavy-bottomed 5-quart/liter pan, preferably nonstick, over moderate heat. When it is hot but not smoking, add the ginger, chilies, cumin seeds and black mustard seeds and fry until the mustard seeds turn gray and pop. Immediately add the asafetida and curry leaves, and with in seconds add the tomatoes. Fry for 2-3 minutes or until the ghee separates from the tomato puree.

Add the potatoes, turmeric, ground coriander and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderately low, cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Add the fresh peas, salt and half of the fresh herb and continue cooking, partially covered, until the potatoes are soft but not broken down. If you are using frozen peas, add them in the last 2-3 minutes. Garnish with the remaining fresh herb and serve.

*Note that since Yamuna wrote her recipes using US measurements, the weights are in US with metric in brackets.

More importantly, her tablespoons are US (15ml) whereas Australian/metric tablespoons are 20ml. So if you follow these recipes using metric measures, your tablespoons should be scant.

Similarly, the US cup is 240ml as distinct from the Australian/metric 250ml cup. The same scant measuring should thus apply to Australian/metric cup users.

The teaspoon is a universal 5ml.

Posted by Kurma on 5/9/10; 10:23:28 AM

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