North India and Eastern parts are in the grip of festivals. Festivals means celebrations and celebrations means food. During this time varieties of Pooris and potato preparations are made to gear up the mood of festivities. Pooris and Potatoes are a pair which every person will enjoy. For us also it is the same.
The regular Potato bhaji is a normal stuff. This Dum aloo is something to crave for. Enriched with multiples of spices and condiments, this dish burst with flavors with each bite. When combined with Luchi, this dish nails it. Luchi is another type of poori which is made with all purpose flour, ghee and warm water. It is crisp and soft once fried and you can just have it on its own.
This Luchi and Dum aloo is a Bengali dish which is customary during poojas and festivals. As a part of ongoing festivities and my attempt to cover the regional and international cuisines, I thought I should travel to West Bengal this time and start from there. Durga pooja is their biggest festival followed by Diwali. What is more appropriate than posting this recipe at this time of the year.
Baby potatoes are used for this recipe. If you dont get that, you can use regular small sized potatoes. Boil it till al a dente. So that it retains its shape. Cooking on slow flame, while infusing all the varieties of spices which are put in this dish is the highlight. Mustard oil is the common oil used in Bengali cooking. That gives that smoky flavor to this dish. so better to try this out in mustard oil. In case you dont prefer that you can go with the oil of your choice.
There have been many contradictions, arguments and counter arguments regarding the use of refined or white flour. I have seen articles on it which states it is a poison. As a foodie, I believe everything on a normal basis will do only minimum harm. I’m telling this from experience. If you indulge in festivities, go on a healthy diet mode for the next few days. You can eat any and everything but keep a check on portions. Exercise at least 4 days a week, and enjoy life with whatever you wish to eat.
What exactly is Refined flour/All purpose flour/Maida ? All-Purpose Flours are generally a blend of hard and soft wheats, though this too may vary according to manufacturer and the tastes of the area they are producing it for. All purpose flour is made from hard or soft wheat flour and is a blend of various types of wheat grains having different protien strengths, and is also generally enriched with vitamins and minerals. It is blended to achieve a flour which has moderate amount of protein and starch and is multifunctional. It’s not actually ideal for only one product. So in essence, because of variation in the wheat itself, all purpose flour is not the same as the maida we make general use of in India. It’s a technical difference.
Practically we do use it as an all purpose flour. The maida we use is the first grade flour derived from milling. And Indian wheat is generally hard wheat. Most all-purpose flour found in grocery stores is enriched, which means nutrients lost during the processing procedure are added back into the flour. Products labeled as enriched must contain no less than 10 percent more of nutrients than the same products not labeled as enriched. The FDA requires that enriched flour contain a certain amount of iron, thiamin, riboflavin, folic acid and niacin. Dietary reference intake, or DRI, percentages listed are for ¼ cup of enriched, white all-purpose flour and apply to adults under age 50.
A ¼ cup serving of all-purpose white flour contains 114 calories. Approximately 85 percent of the calories in all-purpose flour come from carbohydrates, of which there are 24.9 g per cup. Nearly all of these carbohydrates are starch, as one cup of all-purpose flour contains less than .1 g of sugar and less than 1 g of fiber. This is less than 5 percent of the DRI for fiber.
The remaining calories in all-purpose flour come from the 3.2 g of protein and .3 g of fat per cup. Like most plant-based foods, all-purpose flour is not a complete protein because it contains only trace amounts of certain essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are those amino acids that must be included in the diet, as they are not produced by the body. The 3.2 g of protein in all-purpose flour supplies less than 8 percent of the DRI for both men and women.
Every food has its positives and negatives. So on a regular basis have healthy nutritious food so that you can flaunt on occasions and festivals. This Luchi is one thing which you enjoy once in a while when you really crave for luxury food. Enjoy your festivities with all these special foods and get back to me with all the feedback.
Mix APF and salt. Add ghee and combine. Slowly add warm water and knead into a very soft pliable dough. Cover with a muslin cloth and rest for 20 minutes.
Combine all the powders in spice powder mix. Add the water and salt and form into thick paste and keep aside.
Boil the potatoes, peel and prick with a fork and keep ready. It should not be over cooked.
Heat a pan with mustard oil. Bring it to smoking point. Add the whole spices and fry for a minute followed by bay leaf and cumin seeds. Allow it o splutter.
Add the finely chopped onion and saute till pink in color.
Add the green chillies, ginger and garlic and saute till fragrant.
Add the spice powder paste and saute till oil separates followed by salt.
Add the tomato puree and cook further till pulpy and thick.
Add the cooked potatoes and fry for couple of minutes. Add the stock/water and cook on low flame stciking the lid on until all the flavors are infused and you get a thick gravy.
Add the lime leaves and roasted cumin powder at this point. Combine and cook for 5 minutes sticking back the lid.
Serve the dum aloo by garnishing coriander leaves.
Knead the luchi dough once more and make lemon sized balls.
Roll into 1/4 inch round breads like puri and deep fry in hot oil till light golden brown.
Serve hot with dum aloo, onion and lime wedges.