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Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Aloo Seddho (Boiled potato):

For a long time, I took my food for granted. Never realised what it took my mom to make all that which sustained me and made me what I am.
It was only when I started living alone and had to worry about how to make (or buy, but economics tells you that resources are always limited) what to eat to live that I had an appreciation of all the pain, effort and love that goes into every dish, every day.
The first day I bought a kilo of rice, a kilo of salt a kilo of ghee and a kilo of potatoes, and lived on Aloo seddho for about a month thereafter. Alooseddho still remains a favourite, and I have kept on working on it.

Take a potato, boil it, peel it, mash it and eat it with ghee and salt. If you peel it an cut it into smaller pieces before boiling, the cooking process will be faster.
If you want to try a "dry boil", wrap the potato (with peel) in three wet paper towels and microwave on high for 7 minutes. Do not overdo this, the potato might burn.

While mashing, add a generous helping of butter/ghee. Add salt. Try adding some fried jeera (cumin) powder. For a more Bengalee taste, add some mustard oil. Do not forget to add chopped green chillies. You can add chopped onions too. But if I have onions, I chop them, fry them separately with kala jeera (kalaunji) till they assume a light golden colour and then add it to the mash. Another thing that really lends flavour to the mash is some chaat masala.

For the adventurous
If you have some mango pickle (I prefer to use mango thokku pickle), add pickle oil - not the picked mango though. This not only gives a slightly tangy taste and a flavour, it also gives a nice colour to the mash. But do not overdo this, only half a spoon is enough for two large potatoes. Another version is to boil some eggs hard (# of eggs = # of potatoes), then mix the eggs with the mash.

The good thing about these above options is that you can use none, or any or ALL of them. Mash it well, ensure that there are no lumps of semi-boiled potatoes.

Thats the closest approximation to manna that you get.


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