Recipe: Nilgiri’s Potato Pallya | Indian Mashed Potatoes

Hooray for Indian food, and for its immense variety. And wouldn’t you know it, mashed potato has an Indian twist, and we are adding it to our different potato mashes:

We have been making this dish FOREVER, and the original recipe comes from Nilgiri’s, the iconic Sydney Indian Restaurant. Traditionally this recipe from Karnataka is semi-mashed or coarsely mashed and still retains the texture of cubed potatoes. It is a great filling for dosa, but it can be made as a side dish in Indian or even Western style meals. It goes well with rice, roti and poori.

Similar recipes include Sesame Potatoes, Aloo Bhindi, and Saag Aloo.

All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Winter recipes.

The first recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. It is cross posted on our sister site, A Life Time of Cooking. It appears here as part of the Retro Recipes series of recipes which documents our vegetarian recipes from that first blog.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

Indian Mashed Potatoes

Nilgiri’s Potato Pallya

Ever wondered how to vary mashed potato? Or what to do with that left over mash? Here is your answer! Note also the use of lentils as flavourings and texture – this is quite common in South Indian cooking.

1kg potatoes 1 tspn black mustard seeds 2 Tblspn Ghee
1 Tblspn split chick pea lentils (channa dal) 1 Tblspn black lentils (urad dal) 4 whole dry red chillies
0.25 tspn asafoetida powder 1 tspn turmeric powder 1 sprig fresh curry leaves
0.5 Tblspn grated ginger 2 medium onions, sliced salt to taste
half bunch fresh coriander

Heat the ghee in a thick bottomed pan. Add the black mustard seeds and allow to pop. Immediately add the two lentils and cook on a medium heat stirring constantly, till the lentils turn light golden in colour. Add the whole dry chillies and the asafoetida powder, and cook for a few moments. Add the turmeric, fresh curry leaves and ginger, and cook for a few moments. Add the sliced onions and salt and cook till the onions turn translucent. Add the roughly mashed potatoes and mix well.

Cook on a medium heat for a few minutes and check the seasoning. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot.

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