750 g/11/2 lb potatoes
2 tablespoons ghee or oil
1 teaspoon panch phora
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder or to taste
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or coriander
11/2 teaspoons garam masala
squeeze of lime or lemon juice
Peel and dice potatoes. In a heavy-based saucepan with well-fitting lid melt ghee and add panch phora. When mustard seeds pop, add onion and stir occasionally over low heat until soft and starting to turn golden. Add ground spices and salt and stir. Add potatoes, mix well and sprinkle with 1/4 cup water.
Cover pan tightly, cook on very low heat for 20 minutes without lifting lid. Shake pan occasionally to keep potatoes from sticking. Scatter chopped herbs, garam masala and lemon juice over, and a tablespoon more water if necessary. Cover pan again and cook a further 10 minutes or until potatoes are soft and a slight crust has formed on base of pan. Serve with chapatis or rice. Serve the crust too. It is a prized part of the dish.
Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)