Aloo Seski (Nigella Potatoes)

In the days when my father would sit around with my uncles to play cards and drink whiskey, this is one of the dishes that was rustled up as a snack for them to enjoy in between playing cards.

I can still vividly recall the women in the kitchen, tirelessly cutting the potatoes into little matchstick strips, enjoying a little tipple and the banter whilst doing the preparation and cooking.

It is historically a breakfast dish in India which overtime here has evolved into a snack.
I make this dish sometimes simply because of the luxury of not having the cumbersome task of cutting matchstick potatoes because I can now prepare the potatoes using a mandoline slicer and not slave away as my mum and sister in laws did.
Also no more making the accompanying roti that was was customary to serve with this snack! I use the ready-made tortilla flour wraps which I gently heat over a naked flame for that flamed taste and this serves me fine for a delicious little snack or brunch.

This recipe uses simply six ingredients.

5 medium potatoes cut into matchsticks.
2 tablespoons of Nigella seeds
5 Birds Eye dried chillies
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of turmeric

Heat the oil in a large wide frying pan. When hot, to the oil add you’re nigella seeds until you can smell the lovely heady aroma. Now to this add your salt and turmeric and give it a quick stir immediately after put in your potatoes.
Stir this gently until your potatoes are well coated with the turmeric. Now cover and on a gentle flame and heat cook this stirring occasionally.

You do not want to break up the potatoes at all therefore it is essential that you you stir ideally with a fish slice or a palette knife to keep the potatoes intact.

When your potatoes are almost done increase the heat slightly to lightly brown them without out breaking the potatoes this should only take a few minutes and your potatoes will be ready to serve.

Potatoes are available readily in India and this is a simple and popular quick fix desi breakfast for many people.

If you’re not keen on nigella seeds, although they do add the wonderful taste and is traditionally used, try with caraway seeds or panch puran as alternatives.

I served this with an addition of Pumpkin and cauliflower curry!

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