Aloo Bhaji

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Aloo Bhaji recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Aloo Bhaji is something that we will be making again and I love that I now have a fun new name for what was a truly great potato side dish.

The flavors surprised me and we even found a new spice to add to our collection. The chile blended with the potatoes and provided much more flavor than I expected.

Quick definition here for those of you who might be wondering what on earth I am posting today:
Aloo – Potato
Bhaji – Indian dish consisting of vegetables, especially onion

My first attempt at Aloo Bhaji began by admitting just how lacking my knowledge of Indian cuisine was. Perhaps it shows my ridiculous naivete, but I have always thought of green chile as being more exclusive to my own southwestern part of the world. Silly, right?

Here is the recipe as Trisha originally posted it. The recipe below reflects my adaptation. (Yes, I changed it a bit. I was a complete novice in the world of Indian food and couldn’t find a couple of things that were included.)

The original recipe called for fresh curry leaves. I couldn’t find them locally, so I assumed that curry powder would be an acceptable substitute. When I double-checked to make sure, I discovered that curry powder does not contain any curry leaves at all! Who knew?!

(Seriously, I want to know if anyone reading this actually knew that!) The recommended substitute was basil leaves, but obviously, the flavor would have been quite different with the original curry leaves.

Full disclosure, I’m admitting that I didn’t know coriander was cilantro, so when I couldn’t find coriander at the store, I left it out. I purchased some dried coriander, but it really did not fit into the recipe the way it was originally written, so I left it out in the end.

Side note: Did you notice the ridiculously small portion shown in the picture? This was so tasty that we ate more of it than I expected and I had almost nothing left to photograph! That should teach me not to skip taking a picture before we eat dinner.

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Aloo Bhaji

Recipe adapted from and with thanks to My Hobbie Lobbie (website no longer available)
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Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients 

  • 3 medium size potatoes boiled, peeled and cubed (I am going to roast these next time, because we prefer the texture of crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside roasted potatoes.)
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped into 1" pieces
  • 2 green chiles cut into 1/2"-1" pieces
  • 8 basil leaves very thinly sliced *see note below
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds I used yellow ones
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder first time using this spice and we really liked the flavor it added to the onions
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh coriander or cilantro leaves chopped **see second note below
  • juice of 1/4 lime about 1 teaspoon
  • 1 tablespoon light flavored olive oil

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds and let them sputter. Add the basil and then add the chopped chile and let it release it's flavor into the oil for a couple minutes.
  • Add the chopped onions and saute it for a few minutes, stirring infrequently, until the  onions have softened and turned brown on the edges. Add the turmeric powder and stir well to coat the onions. Let it cook for about a minute longer and stir to make sure it doesn't stick to the pan.
  • Add the lime juice and salt to taste. Stir well. Add the potatoes and toss gently to coat the potatoes with the spice mixture. Check the seasonings and adjust as desired. Once the potatoes have warmed in the skillet, sprinkle with the chopped cilantro and and toss lightly. Remove from the heat and serve hot.
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Mary Younkin

Mary Younkin

Hi, I’m Mary. I’m the author, cook, photographer, and travel lover behind the scenes here at Barefeet In The Kitchen. I'm also the author of three cookbooks dedicated to making cooking from scratch as simple as possible.

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  1. The Starving Student says

    I will admit, I did know that curry powder doesn't contain any curry leaves…probably because I watch way too many cooking shows and my reading material consists of reading actual cookbooks. And with the whole coriander/cilantro thing, they are actually the same plant. The seeds get ground up into what we know as dry coriander yet we call the leaves cilantro, here in North America. Overseas they simplify it by calling it all coriander (which really makes a lot more sense when you think about it). Hopefully that provides some insight!

  2. ButterYum says

    So basically these are hashbrowns on steroids! Thanks for doing such an excellent job of explaining what the recipe was.

    I'm new to the SRC this month. I hope you'll stop by and pay me a visit.

    🙂
    ButterYum

  3. Joanne says

    I think you guys are gonna be indian food loving converts! Aloo bhaji is a great dish to start with for people who don't eat Indian food too often. And it looks so delicious here! I've never seen fresh curry leaves in stores ever, but I bought a package of dried ones from my local spice shop. I can send you a package if you want!

  4. Becki's Whole Life says

    I am a huge fan of Indian food so I will have to take a look at her site. I have made a dish with some similar flavors that has cauliflower, peas and potatoes. This looks like a great side dish. The basil/chile combo is interesting, for sure.

  5. Desi says

    I bet those spices add so much flavor! This sounds like a keeper! I'm just now starting to LOVE Indian food 🙂

    Thanks for commenting on my SRC post, Mary! 🙂

  6. Nicole @ the Daily Dish says

    This is awesome. I love not only finding things to eat that I've never heard of or tried before, but finding an easy to follow recipe for such a flavorful, spice filled potato dish? That's like the ultimate. I love potatoes, and the idea of changing them up to create this awesome dish is perfect! Great pick for SRC.
    Mary, I had no idea that Coriander and Cilantro were one in the same… had no idea. Thanks for teaching me something new!

  7. Mary says

    Joanne – you are awesome to offer to mail the leaves to me. I'm going to research a spice store here in the valley. I'm in a huge city, so there has to be a store like that here. Besides, just think of all the trouble I could find at a cool store like that?!

    • Mary says

      I think that would be tasty. Just watch the cooking time and be careful not to overcook it. Let me know what you think!

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