Baby potatoes in a sumptuous, rich gravy. A kitchen come alive with the fragrant spices. A comfort food, coveted and often resorted to. A great choice when friends visit. A favorite I urge mother to repeat every time she visits. A recipe jotted down with her aid, save few minor tweaks to reach a healthier version. Intrigued?
Potatoes – the most preferred comfort food yet the most villainized for their starch content and ‘carbs’. “Don’t touch potatoes if you wish to lose any of those kilos”, they say. However, potatoes are not the root of all evil. If paired right, eaten in moderation and prepared in the right manner, potatoes make for some great indulgence in midst of a tough no-simple-carbs regime. Aye, I’m a die-hard potato fan, which is why I’ll go the extra mile to debunk all the potato-related myths. For myths they are!
While a sizeable chunk of nutrition in potatoes comes in the form of starches (23 grams from a medium sized potato), these earthy-flavored dollops of goodness contain virtually zero fat and a tiny portion of fiber (2g) and protein (3g). What’s more, they’re a storehouse of micronutrients like Iron, Folic Acid, Potassium, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C (half the amount of one’s RDA, I kid you not!).
When to eat potatoes – I’m not saying you can make potatoes your staple diet, but I do believe potatoes are the best pre-workout when you have a Legs-Day or Tabata scheduled at the gym, or have a day full of heavy activity. I’m in midst of property-hunting spree as I pen this recipe, and find my energy seeping out by midday what with the heat and humidity of this coastal town. However, nothing gets you energized like a serving of potatoes, yessir!
How to eat potatoes – The age-old norm applies here as well – mind your portions! Do not get carried away by their flavor, and avoid deep-fried variants as much as possible. Instead, boiled/ mashed/ baked potatoes are preferable, since their nutritional value is more or less intact and there is no fear of calorie overload.
How to pair potatoes – Pairing is of essence – most of us from traditional Indian households pair potatoes with rice or rotis and hence we need to mind the carb portions coming from the combination, not just the potatoes. Add some paneer to the dish to add protein, else pair with a dal and a simple raita to balance the meal well.
RECIPE: ALOO DUM
FOR THE CURRY
- ½ kg baby potatoes
- 1 onion, sliced
- ½ tsp cumin
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2-3 cups water
- A pinch of sugar
- Salt, to taste
- 7-8 sprigs of coriander, chopped, for garnish
- 3 onions, medium
- 1 tomato
- 10-12 pods garlic
- 1-2 green chillies
- 3 dried red chillies, whole
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 cloves
- 2 cardamom/ elaichi
- 1/2” cinnamon stick
- 1/2” ginger stalk
- 7-8 cashews
- 1 ½ tsp cumin/ jeera
- ½ tsp coriander seeds
Bring hot water to boil in a pan. Place baby potatoes and salt, allow to boil until a toothpick comes out clean. Wash with cold water, peel, pierce lightly with a fork and set aside.
For the masala, add onions, garlic, green chillies, red chillies, cashews, cardamom, cloves, bay leaves, cumin and coriander seeds to the grinder/ blender jar and grind to a fine paste.
Heat oil in a wok and add a pinch of sugar to the same, followed immediately by cumin seeds, sliced onions and stir well. Once the onions are translucent pink and raw smell disappears, add turmeric powder, garam masala and the ground masala paste and fry till it is dark reddish-brown in color and oil starts reappearing on the sides of the wok.
Add the peeled potatoes and fry while stirring continuously.
Add water to get desired consistency and allow to cook on a low flame for 10-15 minutes. Add salt.
Sprinkle coriander leaves just before turning the flame off.
Pair with hot rotis or steaming rice.
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per serving)
|Of which, Fiber||2.3 g|
*Recipe is for 5 servings; all values in grams