Sunday 19 September 2010

One of my very favourite comfort foods. The first thing I do as soon as I land in Mangalore, is to head off to Gokul Vegetarian Hotel (restaurants are often called hotels in India) and sit at a marble topped table and eat my masala dosa. If I am starving, which is almost always the case, I order the goli baje (will post the recipe soon), deep fried, delicious balls of flour and seasoning.

Potato bhaji is the filling for a masala dosa. A spicy concoction of potatoes, onions, tomatoes and gentle spices. It can be eaten not just with a dosa, but also with chapatis, bread or rice. This is another of those recipes for which everyone has their own version. This is my easy version.


2 large potatoes, cubed small
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
1 inch piece of ginger, chopped fine
1 green chilly, chopped fine
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 or 2 tbsp oil
1 sprig of curry leaves
1 and 1/2 tsp salt or to taste

In a deep pan, heat the oil, then toss in the mustard seeds and curry leaves until the seeds splutter (about 10 seconds). Toss in the onion, saute for 4 minutes or until its soft. Add ginger and chilly, saute for another minute. Add the tomato and the turmeric, and cook until the tomato is squishy, about 5 -6 minutes. Add the potatoes, and stir to coat them with the masala.

Add enough water to the pan to just cover the potatoes, and simmer until the potatoes are soft. Season with the salt. Roughly mash the potatoes, leaving chunks intact. Stir together and check seasoning, adjusting if necessary.

Serve with dosas, chutney, rice, chapathi, or just as a side dish.


  1. Wow. I am so going to try that out; a couple of questions - does it matter what sort of cooking oil to use? And the other is, do you think I could freeze some? Reason I ask is I tend to batch cook large quantities and freeze some and this looks an ideal candidate! And you should do this for a living ...

  2. Chumbles, it doesn't overly matter what oil you use. I tend to use canola or rapeseed oil as it tends to be the healthiest. If you were to be authentic, you should use coconut oil. However, my mum uses sunflower oil, and I also tend to use vegetable oil.

    I tend not to use olive oil for some Indian dishes, as it can be fairly strong, and clashes with the taste.

    I don't see why you couldn't freeze it. I've never tried freezing this one, but have frozen other curries with good success so it may well work.

    And thanks my dear :-) I am keeping my options open at this time, as its a good time as any to change careers, but it all depends on the job market really.

  3. Hi Michelle, thanks for the advice, it's really helpful - I would have used olive oil (I use that for most of my cooking) so I shall probably use sunflower oil instead. I don't want to have another bottle lurking in the cupboard! I'll try and make this in October and let you know how I get on.

    And good luck on the job front, but I can't somehow see you as a plumber!


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