Alu Tamatar & Gobi Parata

My new favorite recipe is this Aloo ki Ras Bhaji that I found here on a Mad Tea Party. It is a very simple recipe, but the taste is so good. I have a lot of appreciation for simple fresh dishes. I do love junk food, but after eating out a few times my body craves fresh home cooked food. The meal was rounded out with a few cauliflower methi parata's and a simple yogurt flavored with garam masala, chat masala, salt, and crushed roasted cumin seeds and peppercorns. The parata's are a recipe from Shankar's cousin Meena Akka. She is another one of the amazing cooks in his family. Her parata's were really mouth watering. I made this recipe as MTP suggests with onions but omitted the garlic. It was really good, but I decided I would like it even better without the onion, and I after having both I vote for no garlic and onion. Its so Iyer of me, I know. The box in the pictures is actually full of chopsticks, we picked it up in Bali.

Tomato & Potato Subji
3 potatoes peeled and cubed, 1/2 can of crushed/diced tomatoes, or 1 large tomato, 1 cup of water, 1 tbsp coriander powder, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp garam masala, 1 tsp cumin seeds, a pinch of asafetida, 1 tbsp oil, chopped cilantro. (Optional: 1 onion blended, and 1 clove garlic minced)

1. Place the potatoes, tomatoes, water, coriander powder, turmeric, chili powder, and salt into a pressure cooker. Pressure cook on high for 5 whistles, and then reduce the heat for 15 minutes.
2. Heat a little oil and splutter the cumin seeds, add the asafetida.
3. After the pressure has subsided, add the cumin seeds to the potatoes. Add the garam masala and mix. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Cauliflower Methi Parata's
1 cup cauliflower minced finely, 1 tbsp kasoori methi leaves, 1 pinch of turmeric, 1 pinch of chili powder, salt, 2 cups atta flour (whole wheat)

1. Mix the atta flour with some salt, and water until you get a nice soft dough. Add a little oil at the end. Let it rest while you prepare the other dishes.
2. Mix the cauliflower with the methi, turmeric, chili powder and salt.
3. Roll out the dough into a small circle, add the cauliflower and fold the edges over the filling and seal. Then roll out the parata after dipping both sides in flour.
4. Cook both sides of the parata on a tawa. Add a little oil to it. I like to use cumin infused oil.

Verdict: Enjoyed by both the husband and myself.


Anonymous said...

kanchana, i love such simple food too. parantha and aloo sabji looks so relaxing. i would love too if i get this now:)

Priya Bhaskaran said...

hey I have a question- the first step cooking the potatoes in a pressure cooker- did you add water? usually I cook potatoes with little water and turn off the heat with one whistle... said...


The first line says to add water as well, never pressure cook without water!


Priya Bhaskaran said...

oops!!! I missed water....

Latha said...

Looks delicious Kanchana! The box is so unique and beautiful...

FH said...

Sounds and looks like the Potato dish I make!!:)) Don't you love this simple recipe? Taste great with parathas and chapatis.Looks great Enjoy.

Sharmi said...

potato with rotis never gets old!! the pics look so nice. I too made aloo and rotis today!! but different version. urs looks lovely!!

Bong Mom said...

Enjoyed by us too Kanchana ;-)
The sabzi, the paratha and the box all look so pretty

bee said...

thanks. i will be preparing this today.

why is that cute little imp on your sidebar? i want to pinch his cheeks.

bee said...

i meant 'who' is that imp in your sidebar?

TNL said...

Looks like a great meal Kanchana, love every single thing on that plate!

trupti said...

Thanks Ladies!

I love getting these little messages from you all. They really make my day!


GB said...


I realy like your blog. It is well prsented with excellent pictures, interesting writing and good recipes. I have a couple of questions. I am a Sikh but have never been to India. I cook a fair amount of Indian food. From looking at your recipes, virtually all the things we make are Northern India type recipes. One main difference is that virtually all of our recipes use turmeric, onions, garlic and ginger. From what I can tell, most of yours have no onions or garlic. Is there a reason?

I looked at the Southern India recipes. They looked very good but looked like they would be more difficult to make. Maybe that is because I am used to Northern India recipes. Would you please tell me what is the difference between North and South Indian recipes? It seems like South Indian recipes use a lot of dhals as spices.

Thank you for your blog.
GB said...


Very interesting questions. Well the short answer to the garlic and onions questions is that they are not considered saathvik foods. In our community we only offer saathvik foods to god, and so traditionally brahmins were only eating those foods. Shankar and I grew up in brahmin homes, so we are used to that taste. But I cannot claim to be eating only saathvik foods as I do love onion and garlic in many dishes.

South Indian food is a little different than North Indian, I believe it all has to do with history of invadors and the North has a more Muslim influence than the South in terms of cooking. A lot of traditional South Indian recipes are based on foods that were indigenous to the area thousands of years ago, and have evolved to include ingredients as they became more available. For ex. black pepper was used since 3000 B.C but red chillies were imported to India and harvested there much later on. So in traditional rituals for our ancestors we do not use red chillies, only black pepper.

Dhals were around much before things like mace, nutmeg, cinnamon, and other ingredients in garam masala. So the flavoring was done with what was available. Again all these daals are considered saathvik foods.

If you see other South Indian varieties like Chettinad, Kerala, or Hyderbadi foods they have a lot of non-veg dishes with tonnes of garlic and onions! I happen to be making mainly Brahmin Iyer (our caste) foods, as that is what my MIL is teaching me!

Hope this answers your questions!
You can read here for more info:


Anonymous said...

Very well explained Kanchana.

Dear GB,

If I may be permitted to add a little more info which I hope you and other readers can digest(!) let me give a brief about what Kanchana has referred to as 'saathvik'. Hindus believe that the essence of a person called 'Aathma' or the Self that is unchangeable and eternal. What is changeable are his/her body and the world at large. The body is thus the abode of the Self and the world is the abode of the body. These abodes are the ones that are made of what is called 'Thriguna' or the three gunas called Sathvam, Rajas and Thamas. Pure Sathwam is like a transparent glass which even though a condition for existence, would not hinder one's knowing of everything. The other two gunas which are also conditions of existence, on the other hand, would affect one's knowledge to varying degrees on a sliding scale from transparency to opaqueness. God is conditioned by Sathva Guna and so His knowledge is unhindered. We on the other hand are conditioned by the 'mixed' gunas that makes us as limited entities. This is the reason for offering 'saathvic' food to God that would please Him. Part-taking in the offering (prasaad) enhances our closeness to God and that is why eating saathvik food is recommended. The world is made of all three gunas and so we need people made of all gunas to sustain it which would indeed please God. There is, therefore, nothing wrong in eating non-sathvik food.

Shella said...

The combo is fantastic.

Anonymous said...

It is very nice to see your elaborate explanation about food (prasadam) in relation to God.

If you don't mind , I would like to make little alteration to one of your statement.
Please note that my intention is to add more meaning to you comments about God who is the Supreme.

You have said,' God is conditioned by sattva guna'. If God is conditioned , He can't be God. The right understanding is God is transcendental to all modes of Nature

In Srimad Bhagavat Gita Chapter 13Text 15, Sri Krishna said,

asaktam sarva-bhrc caiva, nirgunam guna-bhoktr ca'

(The Supersoul is the original source of all senses,yet He is without senses. He is unattached,although He is the maintainer of all living beings. HE TRANSCENDS THE MODES OF NATURE, and at the same time He is the master of all modes of material nature)

He also given a way in the Bhagavat Gita to come above over conditioning by modes of nature
(Chapter 14 Text 26)

'maam ca yo'vyabhichaarena bhakti-yogena sevate
sa gunan samatityaitaan,brahma-bhuyaya kalpate'

(One who engages in full devotional service, unfailing in all circumstances, at once transcends the modes of material nature and thus come to the level of Brahman.)

English Translations are taken from Bhagavat Gita As it is by A.C.Bhaktivendanta Swami Prabhupada

I have referred to scriptures so that we all can understand the subject matter properly.

Please forgive for any inadvertent mistake in typing sankrit verses in English.