HASH BROWNS...with a difference! (Aaloo Sabji)

A potato by any other name would still taste like a potato and we still wouldn't be able to live without it! Or at least I couldn't. Potatoes can be cooked in so many different ways and are so versatile! They can be grilled, fried, pureed, mashed, boiled, roasted, baked.... and each time
the end result tastes different!

Tonight I made my dad's favorite dish in the world....Hash Browns.. with a difference! These aren't just ordinary hash browns. Oh no! These are a delicious, I-dare-you-to-stop-eating-them , kind of hash browns! Traditionally, mom served them to us with Rice or Chapattis, which is how they are eaten in India and the dish is called batata bhaji (potato vegetable dish). However, try them as you would traditional hash browns - under fried or scrambled eggs, in wraps, in toasted sandwiches - and you will taste the difference! The recipe is extremely simple and very quick to make.

Serves 3-4

5-6 medium Potatoes, diced
2 tbsp Canola or olive Oil
1 1/2 tsp Black Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Garam Masala (optional)
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
6 Curry Leaves
1 tbsp Red Chilli Powder (to taste)
Salt to taste
Cilantro leaves to garnish (optional)

In a shallow pan or large frying pan, heat oil on high. When oil is hot(check by dropping a few mustard seeds-when they pop, oil is hot)add the mustard seeds and let them pop. Next add the curry leaves, Asafoetida,turmeric powder and sizzle. Add potatoes, mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes,covered. Now add the chilli powder and the garam masala powder and mix. Cook covered for about 10 mins on med-low heat. Take off the cover and check to see if potato is cooked. Cook uncovered on medium-low,for another 10-15 minutes, turning every now and then to prevent burning, until the potatoes are crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside! Enjoy!

Authors Note:v
These hash browns can be made with green chillis (to taste) substituting the red chilli powder, and although this is delicious too, I find the chilli powder recipe adds more flavor to the hash browns. Traditionally batata bhaji is made with goda masala, a sweeter kind of garam masala, which is hard to find in the US, but I find this recipe turns out very well even with the more easily available garam masala, or without any masala at all. Again, all the ingredients are available in Indian or Asian stores - and some supermarkets carry them as well.

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