Sometimes, the simplest of ingredients come together as a wonderful wholesome dish. As a child, I remember my mother's day to day cooking was very simple and very healthy. Most of the vegetables were steamed /boiled and then just a simple popu/tadka of mustard seeds, curry leaves and urad dal. This resulted in the taste of the vegetable coming through rather than having them smothered in sauces and gravies and the flavours totally hidden. Sometimes, for a change each veggie will have one added ingredient to enhance its taste like sesame seeds with lauki ( bottle gourd, sorrakai, anapakai), or jeera powder with beerkaya ( ridge gourd, toori).
I think most home foods are made that way. Simple, not too many ingredients and easily made.
One of the simpler dishes that I like to make is aloo jeera. I love its taste with chapatis and a dal. Though the potato is a much maligned vegetable, it's popularity cannot be doubted.
Now for the recipe
4 medium potatoes boiled
1 tablespoon jeera roasted and powdered coarsely
salt to taste
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon whole jeera ( cumin seeds)
4 curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon rice flour
Dice the boiled potato into 1 inch pieces.
Heat oil. When medium hot, add mustard seeds and fry till they splutter.
Now add the jeera till it turns golden brown.
Add curry leaves and when they are fried, add potatoes.
Keep frying on low heat till it starts turning brown.
Add the rice flour. The rice flour helps in turing the potatoes really crisp.
When nicely browned, add the salt, jeera powder and chilli powder.
Serve hot along with chapatis and dal.