The current pandemic had put a temporary stop to a few challenges and that included the AtoZ Challenge, that is hosted by Vidya and Jolly. After posting this recipe for the letter “M”, the tough times came through and taking into account the lock-down back home and non-availability of ingredients, the post for the letter “N” was moved. Finally, we had a declaration from Vidya that we could do our posts this month. During this pandemic, I decided I would cook up with what I had in my pantry – “Nigella Seeds” aka kalonji. This ingredient is actually something I rarely use in my cooking. I keep a little stock in my pantry so that I can sprinkle it into my pazhampori. I totally love the little bitterness it gives when you bite through it along with the sweet plantains. My impulse was to try Fami’s banana bread, but then considering my girls don’t like banana bakes, I had to rest the plan for some other day. That is when my eyes feel on this recipe when it was posted on an instagrammer‘s stories.
I loved the recipe for all the correct reasons. First of all, the recipe lets the star ingredient – the kalonji aka nigella seeds – shine. It uses very minimal spices. The only chopping involved is that of the potatoes. Try to keep the potato cubes as small and even as possible, and hence that makes this one of the easiest dinners you can make. Make some pooris with it, or some chapathis with it, or just get some roti from the nearby bakery, and you are good to go. The char the potatoes had after the water evaporated and the potatoes were cooked were oh-so-yum! My girls, who are usually not very happy with potatoes – among the rare group who don’t love potatoes *crying* – mopped up their plates and really loved this dish. They said it was really delicious. It just affirms that you don’t need to use fancy ingredients to dish out something that can be loved by your family. We had it with some spinach chapathis, like you can see in the background, the recipe of which will be shared hopefully soon. Till then, let us enjoy this deliciously simple recipe…
Kalonji Aloo | Potatoes with Nigella Seeds
- 500-600 gm potatoes around 3 medium sized ones
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp nigella seeds kalonji
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp red chilli flakes
- 2 green chillies thinly sliced
- Salt to taste
- Peel and cube the potatoes into small bite sized peices, for easier cooking.
- Heat oil in a saucepan. Fry the nigella seeds for a minute.
- Add in all the ingredients into the pan with a little bit of water, and give a good toss.
- Cover and cook on low flame, stirring occassionally till the potatoes get completely cooked. Sprinkle in water if it sticks to the bottom of the pan.
- Serve warm with pooris or parathas.