I think I have spoken earlier about my feelings towards potatoes. They are stupid and biased, but I still harboured them. I could not see the point in serving a vegetable side of potatoes, especially when Indian food is accompanied by rice or roti.
But that has changed now. Potatoes are good. Carbs are good. Potatoes with skins are pretty darn good.
My son is not a picky eater, and has a balanced enough diet of oats, fruit, porridge, poha, upma, idli, dosa and the like for breakfast; followed by rice, vegetables and lentils for lunch and roti and rice with chicken or vegetables at dinner. He remains happy, active and not cranky.
Except that over the last few months, he hadn’t been gaining weight. Everyone in the family pointed this out, and I was puzzled. He ate whatever we did, and he ate well enough- so why wasn’t he gaining weight? That’s when the doctor said, you need to give him more carbs and protein for him to bulk up. Skip regular breakfast, and give him mashed potatoes.
So I did. And bulk up he did. Except that even a baby gets tired of mashed potatoes every day. I wanted to make a simple potato dish he could eat like finger food.
And I thought: aloo-jeera! But I didn’t want to make the regular oily spicy version you get at small dhabas. And I wanted to eliminate the turmeric altogether. I know Indian food uses turmeric like it’s going out of style, and I also know that some people get a little freaked out by yellow food. I was also tiring of turmeric stains on my son’s clothes.
So I adapted my aloo-jeera into a highly simplistic and very quick version. This will be a veryvery easy side dish to serve if you are planning an Indian menu, and it will suit people whose taste buds may not be able to handle spice. And yeah, babies can eat it too.
EXTREMELY EASY ALOO-JEERA
- 1 medium to large-sized potato, sliced very thinly, with the skin on
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (Or half a teaspoon, if you prefer. I like crunching on the cumin, so I add a bit more.)
- A few curry leaves
- Salt to taste
- A little water
- First, wash your potatoes well and get rid of any grit and dirt. Leave the skin on. It’s nicer that way. If you are allergic or hate the skin, get rid of it.
- Slice your potatoes very thinly, into half-moons or sticks (or both, like I did) and keep aside.
- Heat the oil in a wok. When oil gets hot, add the curry leaves and allow them to release their aroma and flavour. Actually, when the aroma starts releasing itself, the flavour will too. It’s not like anyone is going to bring a taste of boiling oil to their tongue.
- Next add the cumin seeds and allow them to brown a bit.
- Now add the garlic and let it soften. Then add the potato slices and stir fry.
- Once the potatoes cook a little, add a little water, some salt, combine well. Just add a bit of water- too much will make it all starchy and gooey.
- Leave uncovered on a medium flame till water evaporates and potatoes cook through.
And that’s all there is to it.
This is convenient because my son can eat it on his own- and since it is solid, leaves less of a mess to clean up compared to porridge and other gooey stuff.
♥…WHY DON’T YOU…♥
♥ Sprinkle some crushed red chilli flakes over the top to make it spicier?
♥ Squeeze a bit of lime over the dish for a hint of sour?
♥ Skip the garlic and add a pinch of asafoetida powder for a sharper flavour?