Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Alu Bhaja - Crispy Potato Juliennes

Ma can live without water but not without Alu Bhaja! Shoot her a question “What shall I prepare for lunch/dinner?” and bang comes the answer “Ektu Alu Bheje Nao. Khaoa hoye jabe.” (Meaning – fry some potatoes and meal will be over”) Alu Bhaja is everybody’s favourite side at home along with Rice and Dal. Makes for a comfort meal and I prepare extra rice when there is Alu Bhaja and Dal coz quantity of rice consumed with these accompaniments is more.

Ma doesn’t like it when the potato juliens turn mushy. She wants them crisp and each one separate. Her description of it being “Mochmoche” in Bengali. My Alu Bhaja woud turn out as Alu Bhaji and I would always fail at getting that ”Mochmoche” texture! Lately when Kakima had come down to stay with us, she gave the secret behind crispy juliennes. Salt and spices are to be added once potatoes are completely cooked. I used to add along with potatoes which would release water content due to which the end product would be mushy. Well, I now know the trick of the trade!!!

Try this easy side and I guarantee you’ll like it!

Potatoes – 3-4, medium sized, cut into thin juliennes
Salt – taste
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp or as required
Oil – 4-5 tbsp

  1. Heat oil in a pan.
  2. Add the potato juliennes (flame should be high) and lightly stir till all the water content is evaporated.
  3. Now cover with a lid and reduce flame.
  4. After every 3-4 minutes, give a stir by removing lid and again cover.
  5. Once the potatoes are cooked completely, remove the lid increase the flame to high. Add salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder anc combine.
  6. Now spread the juliennes evenly all over the pan and let them get roasted in high flame. If you are using a deep bottomed pan, the juliennes in the centre will get roasted. You have to keep shuffling and placing unroasted juliennes into the centre.
  7. Drain the potatoes from oil and place on absorbent kitchen towel or tissues.

  1. I generally use the oil left over after frying fritters to make this. The oil will be flavourful and makes the Alu Bhaja tastier.
  2. Since we use a lot of oil for this dish, we will be left with oil after removing potatoes from them. Not all oil goes into the dish.

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  1. Spicy alu bhaja looks soooo delicious, even i can survive for many day with this crispy potato juliennes..

  2. They do look yummy and crispy Seema:)

  3. Alu bhaja looks yummy..simple yet satisfying always!

  4. Lovely and refreshing bhajiyas..who can say no to potatoes.

  5. darun lagche !!!koto din alu bhaja khaini :-(

  6. This will fly like hot cakes in my house..we have some true potato lovers too :)

    US Masala


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