May 7, 2018

Ghurma Aloo (Cumin-Scented Potatoes)

ghurma aloo, aloo, chili, cilantro, cumin, easy, ghormeh, ghurma, iran, persia, potatoes, Recipe, simple, spicy, indian, iyer,

A ghurma is a thick-sauced, long-simmered spicy stew of Iranian origin. This recipe for Ghurma Aloo is the perfect pairing of potatoes or aloo simmered until tender with earthy cumin and a pinch of red chili for a delicious and beautiful dish. Serve over rice or with naan to scoop up the vibrant sauce.


ghurma aloo, aloo, chili, cilantro, cumin, easy, ghormeh, ghurma, iran, persia, potatoes, Recipe, simple, spicy, indian, iyer,

We don't usually eat potatoes but when the new potatoes show up at market, I make an exception. (It seems a bit redundant to serve potatoes with the rice we eat daily.) There's nothing quite like the delicate flavor and texture of fresh potatoes and this easy recipe perfectly showcases them. This dish is adapted from Raghavan Iyer's 2008 cookbook, 660 Curries: The Gateway to Indian Cooking.


Indian cuisine is heavily influenced by the cooking of ancient Persia. The traditional Persian vegetable stew called ghurma or ghormeh is still a popular dish in Iran today. Many influences of Persia can be found in this recipe. As with most Iranian dishes, this recipe eschews garlic and makes do with onion and tomato for an umami boost. The potatoes are initially fried with turmeric giving them a lovely yellow hue as is typical in Persian cuisine. A generous use of cumin and red chili powder provide the spiciness of the dish. Fresh cilantro or dhania is stirred in at the end for a bit of green brightness - yet another Persian motif.

ghurma aloo, aloo, chili, cilantro, cumin, easy, ghormeh, ghurma, iran, persia, potatoes, Recipe, simple, spicy, indian, iyer,

This recipe has become our favorite way to enjoy the fresh potatoes of the season! Cumin and potatoes are THE perfect pairing in my opinion. I have adapted this recipe ever so slightly to suit my Kashmiri family's taste. Mr. Iyer recommended soaking the potatoes- I did not find this necessary. The original recipe called for two teaspoons of salt- I'd start with one teaspoon as we found two teaspoons to be a bit much. Mr. Iyer stirs the tomato in last with the cilantro with this recipe. This results in a raw tomato flavor that my Kashmiri clan cannot abide. So I put the tomato in with the water and chili powder to let them cook with the potatoes eliminating any hint of raw tomato. I also used Kashmiri mirch instead of cayenne powder for its brilliant red color, rich chili flavor, and slightly less heat. The color the Kashmiri mirch lends to this dish really makes this one of the most beautiful ways to serve potatoes. I hope you'll try this easy to make and tasty recipe and love it as much as we do!

Ingredients:
4-5 large russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and roughly cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2-3 TBS cooking oil (enough to cover the bottom of the pan)
1 to 2 tsp salt
1 TBS cumin/jeera seeds
1 onion, cut in half lengthwise and then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tsp turmeric/haldi
1 tsp Kashmiri mirch (or cayenne/degi mirch for more heat or paprika for less heat)
1 medium-size tomato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes or pureed
2 TBS finely chopped fresh cilantro/dhania

Here's what to do:
1) Heat cooking oil with 1 teaspoon salt in a medium-size deep skillet or kadhai for 5 minutes. Add the cumin seeds and cook for about 5 seconds. Add potatoes, onion, and turmeric. Stir-fry until the potatoes and onion are lightly browned around the edges or about 6-7 minutes.


2)  Pour in 2 cups water, chopped tomato, and Kashmiri mirch (or chili powder) and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and cover the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally until the potatoes are almost fall-apart tender. This usually takes about 20 to 25 minutes. (If liquid gets too low or mixture begins to stick or scorch- reduce heat and add 1/2 cup of water.)


3) When potatoes are cooked to desired tenderness stir in cilantro/dhania and cover pan. Allow dish to stand for about 2 minutes. Salt to taste and serve. For a thicker sauce, coarsely mash some of the potato cubes with the back of a large spoon.


14 comments:

  1. sounds very tasty - and looks too in your fabulous photos!
    we eat - of cause - potatoes round year and i always welcome a new recipe. have to reduce the chili for mister BW - but we both loooove cumin!
    only the southamericans tomato, potato & chili in a typical persian dish make me wonder...... ;-D
    xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi beate,
      Within a half-century of arriving from the New World to Spain & Portugal- tomatoes, potatoes, & chilis were being used across much of Asia, along the coast of West Africa, through the Maghreb countries of North Africa, in the Middle East, in Italy, in the Balkans and through Eastern Europe as far as present-day Georgia.
      Because tomatoes, chilis, & potatoes are so easy to grow in Mediterranean & South Asian climates they quickly became staples in local cuisine. Sort of the 'food fad' of the 16th century I suppose!

      Delete
    2. this is very fast counting in the the slow travels of the late medieval.... and of cause it makes sense climate wise - and for the great taste of all this veggies.
      right for this day i was inspired and cooked potatoes with cumin & turmeric in a mix of passata and veggy broth - left the onions but added red pointed paprika, fennel & italian turnips (they had to be done finally). and a bit fresh ginger.
      we ate it with millet.
      thank you for the inspiration!! xxx

      Delete
  2. Fantastic written article. I am so excited. Thanks for sharing useful information with us. Deer Meat cuts in Pennsylvania
    Food Service Distributor in PA

    ReplyDelete
  3. Fantastic, with rotis. What's that pinkish hue in the potatoes ?Here the new potatoes have more of a copperish colour. There is also something silvery in bowl containing the dish in the sixth pic as if something is submerged in the bowl.

    Apple

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Apple,
      Thank you! I think the silvery object in the bowl is the reflection of the fluorescent bulb in the kitchen. The local potatoes here have pinkish skin with yellow flesh.

      Delete
    2. Strange how light plays tricks with our eyes. I sometimes wonder what would our cuisine be without potatoes. It is omnipresent. My favourite potato dish is "alu posto" (potatoes cooked with poppy seeds paste). Simply delicious.

      Apple

      Delete
  4. This looks really delicious. I will definitely give this a go. Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi MIR,
      I just found your blog the other day by way of Crinoline Robot! Love it! Hope you like the recipe as much as we do!

      Delete
  5. Gorgeous lead photo, Bibi! Purist that I am, you've tempted me to forgo my usual dish of new potatoes boiled and buttered crispy in favor of this recipe that must taste as good as it looks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Beth,
      Thank you! These potatoes are so pretty I didn't think they needed any adornment.

      Delete
  6. I don't know why I can't get my head around potatoes with tomato. I'm sure this is delicious, but something in my brain thinks, "that can't be right." I'll have to give it a try when my new potatoes are ready-it looks like we over-planted and there will be plenty to experiment with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Goody,
      Well, there's only one tomato in this- it's the Kashmiri mirch that really gives it that brilliant red hue. Tomatoes + potatoes does seem weird except for the American classic ketchup & french fries!

      Delete
  7. Yum! That looks good! I shall pass it on to Jon and demand he makes it. xxx

    ReplyDelete

Any questions? Please feel free to ask!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Printfriendly