Heeng Jeera Aloo

Okay so it's 12pm, you've just binge watched all 3 seasons of Sherlock, save one episode, (thinking it's 10:30am), and just realized that while you were supposed to look for a job and make lunch, you've spent the whole morning doing VERY productive stuff. At that point, you realize you only have potatoes, and a cupboard full of spices to work your magic. A bowl of rice and dal fry aside. So you look online and come upon a recipe, simple and bloody quick, that can allow you to return to John and Sherlock as they find out the culprit basis which way the wind blows.

This happened to a friend of mine. Not me. Totally not me. 

So my friend made this Heeng Jeera Aloo, and her husband, also named R (coincidence I know right), licked the bowl clean, sans regard for civility. It was exactly that good. Have it with a couple of misshapen and burnt rotis, or underboiled rice and an unparalleled dal, and your lunch/dinner will be sorted. It stays well in the fridge, so take it for your office lunch as well. Roll it in a paratha maybe. Turn it into a stuffing for a nice sandwich. Simple, quick, bursting at the seams with flavour, multipurpose and frankly, pretty damn good. Just the way I..er..my friend likes it.

Heeng Jeera Aloo
Adapted from Veg Recipes of India

You need:
  • 3 medium-large potatoes
  • 1/2 inch ginger, chopped fine
  • 2 tsp jeera or cumin
  • 3-4 pinches of heeng or asafoetida, or how much you like.
  • 1 green chilli
  • pinches each of turmeric powder, Kashmiri chilli powder and Kuti chilli powder
  • 1 heaping tsp of coriander or dhania powder
  • 1 tsp of amchur or dry mango powder
  • 1-2 tbsp oil
  • salt
  • chopped coriander

The How:
  • Boil the potatoes, whole with skin on. Make sure a knife passes through the thickest part of it easily. (This is for all my readers who too are learning to cook, and can use a few tips that make our life easier!) Try to do this: after the pressure cooker whistles sufficient number of times, don't open it. Keep it shut for another 15 min. This result in the residual heat cooking it further, without wastage of gas. Test it with a knife. If it feel resistant in the centre, put it back in the cooker. Repeat till done. It should not fall apart, buit should be easy to stab!
  • Once done, soak the potatoes in ice water. This cools it down rapidly. Change the ice water if need be. Once cooled enough to handle, peel the skin, and chop into dices.
  • In a pan or kadhai, heat the oil.
  • When hot, add the ginger.
  • Add the jeera/cumin. It will splutter.
  • Add the green chilli.
  • Before it gets burnt but is a nice brown colour, add the turmeric, chilli powders, salt and heeng.
  • Stir it well but take care that it doesn't get burnt.
  • Tip in the potatoes, and gently combine the spices with the potatoes, taking care it doesn't get all mashed up.
  • Once combined, add the coriander powder and amchur. Stir well to combine.
  • Taste, and add salt if need be.
  • There would be a nice crust at the bottom of the pan owing to the powdered spices. Scrape it up with your ladle. This is the crispiest, tastiest bit of all!
  • All in all, once all your spices are in, fry it for 3-4 minutes.
  • Turn the heat off, sprinkle with half the chopped coriander leaves, take out in your serving bowl, sprinkle the rest of the coriander and cover till ready to be eaten.
  • That's it!
So my friend says she is very much excited for you to try it out, and to let her know how much you like it. I...she is looking forward to your comments!

Till the next time!


  1. Thank your friend for me ! I absolutely loved this :-P

    1. My friend thanks you from the bottom of her heart, and wishes you well in the culinary adventure that lies ahead of you! :P


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