I was a bit hesitant to try out this recipe initially, since I’m not a big fan of cumin. If you’ve noticed I use fennel (perumjeerakam) regularly in my Indian cooking. It’s one of my favourite spices. I feel that fennel enhances the flavour of the dish, especially non veg dishes. I sometimes think that fennel and myself were destined to be together.
During my first ever grocery shopping, I bought almost half a kg of fennel. That time, I didnt know there were different types of jeera. I just saw fennel and assumed it to be the “jeera” and bought it. I used it in all the recipes which uses cumin/jeera. I used it in thorans, dal curries etc; Until one day, when one of our friends told me I’m using the wrong kind of jeera!
But cumin, is a totally different story. I blame jeeraka vellom (cumin flavoured hot water) for that. During my school days, whenever we visit some place, the first thing offered was hot jeeraka vellom and I used to hate it those days. Somehow cumin reminds me of those days and I maintained my distance. Since change is the only constant thing in life, my attittude towards cumin also changed a bit. These days I like Jeera rice and I dont mind a bit of jeera in curries too.
Though this dish uses good amount of jeera, it’s not overpowering. It’s a very simple and quick dish to put together if you are in a hurry. It goes well with rice and roti.
Heat oil in a pan and crackle jeera. Add grated/crushed ginger and garlic. Cook for 2-3 mins…
Add chopped onion and cook till they become golden brown in colour. Add the masala powders and cook till the raw smell goes, around 2-4 mins…
Add chopped tomato along with salt and sugar, mix well. Add 1/4 cup water and cook…
When tomato becomes soft, add cooked potatoes. Add 1/4 cup hot water and combine well. Make sure the potato pieces are coated well with the masala. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves…
Recipe adapted from Vanitha Pachakam Magazine
- Potato – 2 large (450 gms), cut into medium size cubes
- Onion – 3 med -big, chopped
- Ginger and garlic – 1.5 – 2 tsp, each crushed/grated
- Cumin (jeera) – 2 tsp
- Tomato – 2 medium, chopped
- Chilli powder – 2 tsp
- Coriander powder – 2 – 2.5 tsp
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- pepper powder – ¼ tsp
- Garam masala – ½ tsp
- Sugar – a pinch
- Oil – I used sunflower
- Coriander leaves – for garnishing
- Boil the potatoes with salt till they are done. Make sure not to overcook them. They should retain the shape.
- Heat oil in a pan and crackle jeera. Add grated/crushed ginger and garlic. Cook for 2-3 mins. Add chopped onion and cook till they become golden brown in colour. Add the masala powders and cook till the raw smell goes, around 2 – 4 mins. Add chopped tomatoes along with salt and sugar, mix well. Add ¼ cup water and cook. When tomato becomes soft, add cooked potatoes. Add ¼ cup hot water and combine well. Make sure the potato pieces are coated well with the masala. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice/roti.