Mange Tout & Potato Bhaji (Dry Curry)
Kachchi Matar aur Aloo ki Sookhi Sabji
Mange tout are a seedless variety of peas. In India, people often remove the tough membrane from pea skins and make bhaji with those. Mange tout give the same taste, even better. My grandmother used to sit and peel each pea skin meticulously and make a delicious, spicy bhaji in Ghee, not oil! She never touched oil and lived to a ripe old age of 97! Serves 4-6
250 gm. Mange tout or Snap peas topped and tailed and sliced (you can keep them whole, if you wish)
250 gm. small new potatoes, cut into small pieces (so they cook quickly, as fast as the mange tout)
2 tbsp. cooking oil (mustard oil tastes better, if you can find it)
1 tsp. cumin seeds (or mustard seeds or Panch Pooran
A pinch of asafoetida powder or hing
1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled and finely shredded
1-2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed/chopped (optional
1 green chilli, finely chopped (optional)
1 1/2 tsp. coriander powder
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1/4 tsp. chilli powder (adjust to taste)
1 1/2 tsp. salt (adjust to taste)
1/2 tsp. Garam Masala
1/2 tsp. dry mango powder or amchoor (1/2 tbs. Lemon juice can be used instead of mango powder).
Prepare, wash and drain vegetables and keep aside.
Heat oil in a wok or karahi.
Add cumin seeds and asafoetida powder and wait for seeds to splutter.
Add ginger and garlic, fry for 10-15 seconds.
Add prepared vegetables, all spices, except garam masala and mango powder. Stir fry for a minute or two, until vegetables are well coated with spices. Lower heat to low-medium.
Cover and cook until potatoes are tender, stirring from time to time.
Adjust salt/chillies by tasting.
Add garam masala and mango powder/lemon juice.
Mix well. If it looks watery, raise heat and quick fry until all water is evaporated and vegetables look at little shiny, when ready.
If the vegetables are fresh and the heat is correct, you do not need to add any additional water. Selecting correct heat comes with practice, trial and error. It should be simmering very gently; otherwise vegetables may 'catch'. If you need to add water while cooking, sprinkle 1 tbsp. at a time. This will prevent vegetables from going soggy due to overcooking in your attempt to dry off the excess water.
If you like garlic, you can add a little fresh garlic along with ginger, at step 4