Alu bharta (or mashed potatoes that is then given a seasoning of cumin seeds and red chillies fried in desi ghee) is a common side dish for lunch to go with plain rice and dalma or saag. It is mostly prepared on days like Monday, Thursday and Friday when most women in Orissa keep fasts (onions and garlic are not used in any dish on these days). It is a very easy and quick to prepare dish and doesn’t take much of an effort but it tastes awesome. Though some people also give a chonk (seasoning) of slit green chillies, crushed garlic and chopped onions to the mashed potatoes, but this particular one is a ‘no-onion-garlic’ alu bharta.
Boiled Potatoes, about 2-3 medium sized ones
Salt to taste
For seasoning – Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp;
Whole Red chillies – 2-3 nos.
Desi Ghee, about 2 tsp
For garnishing – Fresh Coriander leaves, finely chopped
1. In a pressure cooker, boil 2-3 medium sized potatoes with some water until 2 whistles. When done, let it to cool down and on opening the lid, take off the skin of the potatoes and mash them in a plate.
2. Add salt to it and mix nicely.
3. Now for seasoning, take a kadhai and heat about 2 tsp of desi ghee and adding 1 tsp of cumin seeds and a few red chillies, saute for a while till an aroma starts wafting from the kadhai.
4. Pour all the contents of the kadhai on to the plate containing the mashed potatoes.
5. Now also add to the mashed potatoes, the finely chopped corinader leaves and once again mix them all nicely.
Alu bharta is ready to be eaten! Yeah, didn’t I say that it is a very quick and easy thing to prepare. And believe me, it tastes equally good too.