“Sob bangalir moto tomar-o alur dosh aachhe dekhchhi !
a statement from a very senior Bengali dada in my neighbourhood. If you are scandalized by the above statement – rest assure, I was so too! For a Bengali hailing from West Bengal alur dosh had a different meaning altogether J ….adding potatoes to every dish was NOT a dosh by any standards!
My mother, like all Bengali mothers loved to add potatoes to all her dishes. So much that she even prepared sweets from sweet potatoes! As a result I have grown up eating potatoes as a very integral part of my diet. I cannot say that I didn’t enjoy potatoes myself – alur dom (Dum Aloo) 10 years and 20 kilos later is still my all time favorite! Never really thought eating potatoes was a sin until I landed in Mumbai – and started inviting people home as a courtesy! My husband’s friends were horrified to find potatoes in mutton curry…that’s when I realized that I too add potatoes in literally everything! For me not adding potato in mutton curry was blasphemy….I loved that potato more than the mutton!!! Ofcourse now I have learnt to keep that potato to myself and out of everyone else’s visibility !
The truth is that Potato is one of the most underrated vegetables –branded guilty for no fault of its own! A large boiled potato weighing about 100g has only 44 calories, as against 2 chapattis weighing the same (100g) contains about 300 calories! So, my alu kabli, which I’m going to share here has only 70 – 75 calories…far less than what 1 chapati contains!! That’s what I call guilt free indulgence J
Alu Kabli – Aloo Chaat Bengali Style
This Alu-kabli is made by a vendor who is selling this amazingly chatpata dish outside the Ram-Mandir in Durgapur, for the past 30 yrs atleast ! He was there when I was small, and he is still there till date. Whenever I go to Durgapur on my yearly visit, I always make it a point to have this mouth watering dish of his!
Potato: 1 large, boiled and peeled
Kabuli chana: 10-12, boiled
Tamarind: a handful
Rock salt: ½ tsp
Jeera : 1 tsp
Dried red chillies: 2
Pani puri: 2 crushed
Step1: Soak the tamarind, for about an hour, strain and keep aside.
Step 2: Heat a few drops of oil throw in a few cumin seeds and add the strained tamarind juice. Add sugar salt and chili pdr, bring the liquid to a boil and your Imli chutney is ready. Keep aside.
Step 3: Roast the chilies and the cumin seeds and dry grind it into a coarse powder. (See Kochu kumror chhokka)
Step 4: Cut the boiled potato into thin slices.
Step 5: Add the chickpeas, rocksalt, roasted masala, and imli chutney and whisk them together.
Step 6: Spread the mixture and garnish with crushed pani-puris, or coriander leaves or anything according to your taste, availability and imagination !