I wonder why has oil in everyday cooking been reduced to just being a medium of cooking vs. it being that essential ingredient that adds its own subtle taste and flavour!? I know there is EVOO, and much has been spoken about it. But what about mustard oil or til ka tel (sesame) or unrefined groundnut oil or coconut oil. These aren’t just ‘better for you oils’, they make food taste better. Like the mustard oil in today’s breakfast of Nepali Aloo Ko Achaar with parathas. It gives this potato salad a beautifully rounded taste as it mellows the heat of all the spices that go into it.
BTW, this Aloo Ko Achaar takes 15 minutes to assemble (if you don’t count the boiling of the potatoes) and just 15 seconds to polish off. Don’t take my word for it. Try it.
Aloo Ko Achaar or Nepalese Potato Salad
- 6-7 medium potatoes, boiled and peeled
- 2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds, coarsely ground
- 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds, coarsely ground
- 1 inch knob of ginger, pound in a mortar and pestle
- 3 green chillies, slit
- 4 teaspoons white sesame, toasted and ground to a powder
- 1 teaspoon Coleman’s mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek
- 6 tablespoons mustard oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt to taste
- Quickly chop the potatoes into bite size pieces.
- Add in the rough ground coriander seeds, cumin, ginger, white sesame powder, mustard powder, chilli powder and give it a good stir.
- Heat the mustard oil in a pan until it starts smoking. As you know, that takes away the rawness of the oil. Switch off the heat. Wait a minute and add the fenugreek seeds. As soon as these turn dangerously brown add the turmeric powder and slit chillies. Mix well and add the hot oil over the potatoes. Add salt to taste, the lemon juice and mix the whole thing really well.
- Cover it and let the whole thing rest for 5 minutes. Let the spices and oil get to know each other better.
- Have it at room temperature with parathas or better still puris.