Monday, November 12, 2012

Dharosh Aloo Posto - Okra & Potatoes in White Poppy Seed Sauce

Mum and I made something similar to this with just okra once.  She has been my mentor in all of life's lessons, and cooking in particular.  There were eight of us siblings in our family and we waited with our tongues hanging out for her food, whenever she had the time to cook.  Sometimes the wait would be almost unbearable, but she stood for no nonsense in the kitchen and we were not allowed to whine or bug her while she was cooking.  When I grew older and spoke to her on the phone, our main topic of conversation was what she was going to cook or had cooked that day.  I, therefore, dedicate this blog and all my recipes to her and hope she is in a place where she is getting a well-deserved rest.  How did she ever get through life with so many strings attached to her 'sarir achol'?  'Sarir achol' is the portion of the sari that is draped over the left shoulder.


2 pkgs. fresh okra, trimmed & cut on bias
1 russet potato, cubed
1 tsp. amchur (dried mango powder)
1/4 tsp. nigella seeds
1 tsp. ginger paste
2 tsp. Coleman's mustard powder, soaked in 2 Tbsp. cold water
3 Tbsp. white poppy seeds (posto), soaked in hot water for 30 minutes.
2 Tbsp. grated, unsweetened coconut
4 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
salt to taste
1 tsp. ghee


  1. Toss okra with amchur.
  2. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil over medium-high heat, fry okra until golden and set aside.
  3. In the same saucepan, heat remaining oil and sputter nigella seeds.
  4. Add cubed potatoes, ginger paste, salt and fry until potatoes are tender.
  5. Meanwhile, puree posto along with soaking water, coconut and some salt until smooth.
  6. When potatoes are fork tender, combine posto with mustard and pour over potatoes.
  7. Cook until some of the liquid evaporates, add okra back into pan, stir and cook until thick and almost dry.
  8. Adjust salt, garnish with ghee, stir and remove from heat.
  9. Serve with hot, cooked basmati rice.

Pui Shaak er Ghonto - Indian Spinach with Vegetables

When Mum came to visit for a fortnight about three years ago, we  made a point of shopping at the Indian and Oriental grocery stores every other day, coming home and then cooking up a storm.  She recited and I wrote down all the recipes we prepared in a notebook.  This is a recipe from that notebook.  

And here is a picture of the vegetables before prepping.  The tomatoes were not used in this recipe; they are there for presentation only, for color contrast. :)


Big bunch of pui shaak, chopped (aka Malabar/Indian spinach at Vietnamese stores)
1 russet potato, cubed
1/4 pumpkin, peeled and cubed
1 Oriental eggplant, cubed
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 bay leaves
2 whole dried red chillies
1/2 tsp. panch phoron (cumin,fenugreek,nigella,black mustard & fennel seeds)
2 tsp. ginger paste
1 tsp. roasted panch phoron, ground
1/4 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. ghee


  1. In 1 Tbsp. oil, fry eggplant cubes over medium-high heat until golden.
  2. Remove eggplant and set aside.
  3. In same saucepan, add remaining oil and sputter panch phoron seeds, chillies and bay leaves.
  4. Add potatoes, pumpkin and ginger paste and stir well.
  5. Cover and cook until vegetables are almost done.
  6. Add pui shaak, cover and cook until spinach is wilted and most of the liquid has evaporated.
  7. Return reserved eggplant to saucepan and cook for a couple of minutes.
  8. Sprinkle roasted panch phoron and sugar over top, and stir.
  9. Garnish with ghee, stir and remove from heat.
  10. Serve with hot, cooked Basmati rice.
I shared this recipe on