Indrani’s Runny Aloo’r Torkari

A very warm person, always armed with kind words and a beautiful smile, Indrani Dhar has been a passionate blogger for over seven years now. She has been blogging religiously from her space – Recipe Junction, which is a beautiful collection of Bengali recipes, Baked Goodies, Continental Recipes. Her recipes will always have a very informative introduction, either about the history or the benefits of the main ingredient. Mommy to three adorable kids, she is a rock of a person who brings stability to our close-knit group of foodies.
I had eyed, drooled, mentally gobbled up her “Runny Potato curry-Kolkata street food joint style” many times ever since she posted it couple of months back. Wanted to make it for the husband’s birthday along with Hing er Kochuri, but somehow ended up with the same lunch that I have been serving him last few years on his birthday – Luchi, Sada Alu’r Torkari, Begun Bhaja, Chicken Curry and Kalakand. So what better time to make it but now that we are celebrating each blogger of Kolkata Food Bloggers during its ongoing event – Know Your Blogger 2. This is bound to remind you of the runny aloo’r torkari that you get only in the mornings with kochuri in Kolkata. I had made some Hing er Kochuri and Gajar Ka Halwa to go with it.
I stuck to her recipe for the better part except for a couple of minor changes.

Indrani's Runny Aloo'r Torkari

Both the husband and I love to eat Kochuri-Alu’r Tortaki from the hole-in-the-wall joints of Kolkata. Many a morning we would drop off  our son at school (the few months that we were in Kolkata, last year) and head over to City Center to have Kochuri-Alu’r Torkari, Jilipi (just for me) and Bhar er Cha (Tea served in a earthen pot).  Sometimes we would go over to ‘Haryana’ in Kankurgachhi. The husband would follow up his Kachuri breakfast with some freshly made Lassi. I would stick to my ‘Bhar er Cha’.

From outside City Center, Kolkata

  • Potatoes – 2 Cups, diced (I used russet potato)
  • Cholar dal/Bengal Gram – 1/3 Cup, soaked overnight in water
  • Dry red chilies – 2
  • Panch Phoron – 1 tbsp (an equal mix of mustard seeds, fennnel seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds and nigella seeds) 
  • Asofoetida/Hing – 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin Powder – 2 tsp
  • Paprika – 1 tsp (or red chili powder if you prefer more heat)
  • Mustard oil – 2 tsp
  • Sugar – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste

The special mix of 5 spices that we Bengalis call ‘Paanch Phoron’ is used in this dish for tempering. Typically, Paanch Phoron will include Fenugreek Seeds (Methi), Nigella Seeds (Kalo Jeera), Fennel Seeds (Mouri), Cumin Seeds (Jeera) and Wild Celery Seeds (Radhuni) in equal parts. ‘Radhuni’ is rarely available outside West Bengal, so black mustard seeds are also used as the 5th spice. It imparts a unique flavor. 

I used my pressure cooker to cook it. If you are using a regular pan, cover and cook after adding water till potatoes are fork-tender and the dal is cooked.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker on high heat and temper with the dry red chilies and panch phoron mix. Once the seeds start crackling and sizzling, sprinkle the hing/asofoetida and lower the heat. Add the diced potatoes and mix till the masala coats each piece. Fry for a minute. Spoon in the soaked chana dal. Throw in the turmeric powder, cumin powder, paprika, salt and sugar and stir well to mix. Add enough water to cover the potatoes and pressure cook till you hear 2-3 whistles. Check the potatoes for done-ness and the curry for seasoning.
Serve piping hot with Kochuri, Luchi, Puri or Paratha. 
My family loved it! I had taken some over to our neighbor along with some Hing er Kochuri and Gajar ka Halwa, they said that it tasted like the torkari they used to eat at the famous shacks just outside Dakshinswar temple. Two thumbs up from all of us Indrani! 

I am sending this to KYB 2 


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