Potato Curry 5, With Punjabi Bari (Spicy Lentil Dry Dumplings)
Aloo Bari Rasedar (Punjabi Bari)
Alu-Bari is a popular dish from Punjab and Uttar Praesh (northern province) of India. It is one of the simplest of dishes to make and delicious with chapatties or naans or parathas. The word Bari can be spelled in many different ways: Badi or Vadi or Vari or Wari or Wadi. The reason is that the exact sound of 'Bari' is impossible to spell in English. People spell it as they pronounce it in Hindi, that is why you get so mant spellings for it. Baries are highly spiced little dumplings, made from Urad dal, but not easy to make in a cold country. They need hot sun to dry out, even if you did manage to get all the ingredients. They are easily available ready-made from most Indian grocers, look for Punjabi Bari. Serves 4.
Edited and pictures replaced in September 2018
500 gm. potatoes
6-7 small baries or vadies. Buy ready made or see Making Bari. If you can only find large ones, wrap them in a kitchen towel and break them by hitting them gently, with a rolling pin.
1 large onion (225 gm. approximately), peeled, finely chopped or grated
1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated (optional)
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed or grated (optional)
150 gm. tinned or fresh chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp. oil or ghee
1 tsp. cumin seeds
A large pinch of asafoetida powder
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. coriander powder
1/4 tsp. chilli powder or to taste. Baries are hot themselves, so do not add too much chillies.
1 level tsp. sweet paprika powder for colour (optional)
Salt to taste
A handful of chopped coriander leaves to garnish
Peel and chop potatoes into large pieces, like you would for roast potatoes. Keep aside.
Measure everything else and keep ready.
If your baries are large, break them up into smaller pieces either in a mortar and pestle or by gently hitting with a rolling pin on baries warped in a kitchen towel. They are easy to break.
Heat oil in a pan and fry baries for a minute or two, making sure that they do not burn. Take out of the oil and keep aside.
Heat the oil in a pan again.
Add cumin seeds and asafoetida.
When seeds splutter, add onions, ginger, and garlic if used. Fry until onions are browned.
Add all the spices (you can use curry powder instead of individual spices) and salt, fry for a minute or so. Do not burn spices.
Add tomatoes and stir-fry on medium heat, until it looks shiny or oil separates from the mass.
Add potatoes and Baries. Stir to coat with spices.
Add water and bring to boil.
Simmer until potatoes are tender. They can be cooked in pressure cooker, under full pressure, for 2-3 minutes. I usually cook them in a pressure cooker.
Turn heat off and add coriander leaves.
You can add a handfull of fresh peas to this dish. If using frozen peas, add towards the end of the cooking time.