While I was studying in Cambridge, I was fortunate to become friends with a couple from Kathmandu, Nepal. Luckily, we are still friends now, although they live across the world in California. They gave me this recipe for Aloo Ko Achar, which we referred to as Nepali potato salad. It is a great alternative to the American potato salad made with mayonnaise. It’s vegan and very flavourful with lots of spices! The spice level can be adjusted by adding more or less chilies.
Conveniently, this recipe for aloo ko achar can be made in advance and is tasty served straight out of the refrigerator or at room temperature. Also, although I refer to it as a salad it could also be a snack or a main dish.
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cucumber, de-seeded and cut into thin 2 cm long sticks
1 carrot, peeled and cut into thin 2 cm long sticks
1 chopped green chili (or if not available 1/2 tsp chili flakes)
5 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp ginger, minced
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/2 tsp salt
Juice of 1 lemon
Fresh coriander for garnish, optional
First, in a saucepan, bring water to a boil and cook the potatoes until soft (you can test by poking them with a fork). Turn off the heat. Drain the potatoes and let cool to the side.
Next, in a separate saucepan heat the vegetable oil over low heat. Add in the chili, chili powder, fenugreek, turmeric, mustard seeds, garlic and ginger. Stir and cook for a few minutes. Remove from heat and pour mixture over the potatoes. Then add carrot, cucumber, sesame seeds, salt and lemon juice. Mix and then serve. Finally, sprinkle with coriander for garnish. It can be served slightly warm or cold
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