Aloo Barbatti Charchari

I attended a small potluck yesterday, and the theme was indian food. It's been ages since I made my own, and even longer since I cooked vegetarian indian food, so I went to the expert, jeanne buffa, for a recipe recommendation.

The one she provided rocked the house, and everyone at the potluck loved it and requested the recipe. So, thought I would share it with you all :)

Aloo Barbatti Charchari

2 medium tomatoes, peeled & chopped
2 bay leaves or 8 curry leaves
5 potatoes (1 1/4 lb) cut into cubes
2.5 cups trimmed green beans
3 springs basil
1-2 whole red chilis
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/4 tsp asafetida
salt and pepper
6 tb ghee or butter
2 cups water

1. Place all ingredients in a heavy 3-quart pan (needs to be an iron pan or something that will be okay charring food upon), starting with the tomatoes & ending with the water. Bring to a boil over mod. high heat, reduce to moderate and boil 5 minutes

2. Reduce heat again & gently boil, partially covered for 20-25 minutes. Water should be absorbed.

3. Raise heat to high & don't stir until it begins to char. When satisfied (7-8 min?) remove from heat & let stand 5 minutes.

4. Stir and remove chilis

Carrie's notes and changes:

All crazy spices and such purchased from bombay bazaar on valencia between 16th and 17th.

I wimped out on peeling my own tomatoes, and bought canned.

Could not find any basil at safeway, went without.

Also could not find whole red chilis so just sprinkled in some chili flakes. Diced jalapenos would work too I bet.

Had to let it simmer longer than above. Either I put in too much water, or had the heat down too low, although it was always at a boil.

I felt like i wimped out on the charring a bit, when i poked at the bottom, it looks like it was more of a burning than a charring, so I stopped that part, but upon tasting, it really did have that yummy smoky flavor, so i think it worked.

I think I figured out this would be about 34 points for the whole thing (24 for the ghee, 10 for the potatoes (I used yukon gold). 5 of us at the potluck ate about half of it. I would say that it would serve about 8, at 4-5 points per serving.

Posted by carrie on December 01, 2003 | TrackBack

Carrie, that sounds so wonderful! I can't wait to have you cook it for me. 8)

Do you think it would be good served next to a lamb dish?

Posted by: meriko on December 2, 2003 7:31 AM

I'm not big on tomatoes, but I think even I'd love this! Ingredients aside, the name of this dish wins regardless. :>

Posted by: rebecca on December 3, 2003 8:31 PM

To Meriko: I think this would work really well with lamb. It's just a very nice non-soupy indian side dish. Such good flavors!

Beca: In the final product, the tomatoes are barely noticeable, and easily avoided in the eating (you know how I am about them too). Their main purpose seems to be to coat the bottom of the pan and do most of the charring, to just provide the flavor, but then don't need to be eaten.

Posted by: Carrie on December 4, 2003 10:38 AM
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