This dish is a favorite with all people who have had some association
with Darjeeling, India. A lot of the Himalayan people —
Tibetans, Sherpas, Yolmos, Walungs, etc. — have had a legacy
of sending their children to school in this small hill station
to the east of India. Some of the well-reputed schools in this
town include St. Josephs (NP), Loreto Convent, Mt. Hermon, St.
Pauls, St. Augustines, Dr.Graham's Homes, etc. This dish —
or rather a snack in Darjeeling — is served everywhere in
this town in small teashops with "puris" bread, or with
potato wafers as a snack.
Any girl from Darjeeling will swoon at the mention of "Bhola's
alu-dum" known for its famous Alu, bhujia chips combination.
It is served in a Tibetan version of the dish as " Shogok
Khatsa" in the Tibetan Yak Restaurant in Jackson Heights.
- Cooking oil
- Red chilli powder
- Panch puran masala
Step 1. In a utensil, add a pound of potatoes. Cover with water
and add two teaspoons of salt (the salt adds a bit of a flavor
to the potato and also helps in cooking it faster) and boil.
Check with wooden spatula to check when the potatoes are done.
Step 2. Peel the potatoes and cut into 4 or 8 pieces depending
on the size of potato.
Step 3. In a small bowl add 3 teaspoons of red chilli powder
(you can add more if you want it very spicy) and 2 tablespoons
of salt. Add π cup of water and mix thoroughly.
Step 4. In a small utensil, heat 5 tablespoons of cooking oil.
Add a tablespoon of panchpuran masala and fry till the seeds
turn brown. Add the mixture in the bowl to the oil and cover
immediately (One needs to be very careful when you do this —
the water in the hot oil leads to a lot of hot steam forming
and also the chilli powder gets roasted at once and lends to
the spicy smell in the room). Let the mixture boil for 2 minutes.
Step 5. Add the potatoes to the gravy and stir. One can turn
down the flame after 2-3 minutes and let the potatoes simmer
for 5 minutes.
The potato dish is done and can be served with "pooris"
for a meal or with potato wafers and "bhujia" as a snack.