How amazing is the fact that we can cook the same vegetable in hundreds of different ways! With each dish savouring its own roots and origin, and in turn flavours.
Like the humble potatoes. This is truly the most loved and used vegetable around the world. Due to its extensive and easy availability, it’s been used in almost every existing cuisine.
In fact, just in India, we must have about a thousand, if not less, recipes using potatoes as the main ingredient of the dish. Depending on the region and spices used, the taste and texture varies widely. For example, the spicy alu sabzi cooked in mustard oil and cumin seeds in the states of U.P. or Punjab tastes entirely different than the one cooked in Karnataka with coconut oil and curry leaves. This variety in food and culture keeps us exploring for more, always.
This side dish for today is another simple potato preparation from the state of Maharashtra. Cooked with minimum spices and grated coconut, this has the capacity of becoming a family favourite. And it’s ready in no time, especially when you have got potatoes pre boiled. I usually keep a batch ready in the fridge a day in advance if I know its going to be hectic the next day. That ways I push the urge to order a takeaway and make the dinner in less than hour an hour from scratch.
Although I have been to Maharashtra just once, I have quite a lot of friends from there who keep me amazed serving the delicacies from the state. And over time, I have grown accustomed and fond of the balanced variety of meals this region offers.
More of my favourite recipes from Maharashtra-> Paav Bhaaji | Usal- Sprouted matki dal | Kanda Poha | Shengdana chatni (peanuts & garlic dry chutney) | Puran Poli | Kopra amba pak (coconut mango fudge)
Batata means potato in Marathi. Batata chi bhaji simply means Potato stir fry (sabji/sabzi), it’s a very simple preparation and uses minimum spices. The sweet flavours from the coconut added, balances out very well with the sharp curry leaves and mustard seeds.
I strongly recommend you not to add any more spices like coriander powder or dry mango powder (amchur) to the dish, and enjoy the mildness as it is. Serve it with Maharashtrian Amti (dal) and roti aside with some shengdana chutney to complete the platter.
Lets quickly see the recipe for Maharashtrian batata chi bhaji
Cuisine: Maharashtrian, Indian
Course: Side dish
Cooking level: Easy, beginners
Nutritional info: Rich in Vitamin E, B & K, potassium and other essential minerals. Low in carbs and fat.
Accompaniment: Raita, chutney or dal, to be served with roti
What you need?
- 5-6 medium sized potatoes, boiled*
- ½ freshly grated coconut **
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- Handful of curry leaves
- 1 tbsp cooking oil (groundnut oil OR mustard oil)
- 1 tsp turmeric powder, red chili powder each
- 2-3 green chillies, sliced length wise
- 1 tsp salt Or to taste
- ½ cup fresh coriander leaves for garnish (cilantro)
How to make?
Peel the boiled potatoes, break them roughly into pieces or dice them with a knife. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Throw in mustard seeds and allow them to splutter. Add curry leaves and green chilies and fry for 10-12 seconds.
Add grated coconut and roast in at a low gas setting for a minute or two. Take care not to burn it and keep stirring to avoid it sticking at the bottom.
Add spices and mix, then add the potato bits and fold everything gently. Take care not to overdo it since boiled potatoes may crumble.
Just cook it covered for a few minutes and then turn off the flame. Add the chopped Coriander, gently mix and serve hot with chapatti or Thalipeeth with Chutney on the side.
*To boil potatoes- Use a pressure cooker. If you don’t have one- peel the skin off, dice into cubes and immerse into boiling water for 6-8 minutes. This should get them softened. Strain and use for the recipe.
** If you don’t have fresh coconut grated, try and find the frozen variety. If that’s not available either, use dessicated coconut although the taste wouldn’t be the same.
This dish is honestly ready in 10 minutes. And in the meanwhile, I prepare chapatis and raita, so basically getting the whole dinner ready in about 20 minutes.
More Indian potato side dishes you might like
Aloo dhaniya– potatoes with coriander leaves
Aloo palak– potatoes with spinach
Alu matar rassa – Potatoes with green peas in runny gravy
Alu matar– Potatoes with green peas and tomatoes
Alu dahi pudina– Potatoes with yogurt and mint
Alu methi– Potatoes with fenugreek leaves