Masala Potatoes-Rai Wale Aloo
Rai wale Aloo is close to my heart. Growing up, this was our family favorite lunch dish. So many memories attached to it while eating these delicious potatoes. My mother made these potatoes every other week because we loved munching on these perfectly spiced potatoes tempered in mustard seeds and served with with warm Roti(flat Indian bread) and Bhungra(Indian fryums) also known as Far-Far.
It feels like this was just a few years ago. A girl who loved eating her mother’s food has her own family to feed now. How did the time fly by? I feel honored to cook my mother’s dishes and introduce them to my kids and with you.
Rai wale Aloo(Masala potatoes) is one of the very famous street foods in South Gujarat, India. Vendors with their small cart wander around the streets of Bharuch selling these delicious potatoes. The bite size potatoes tempered in mustard seeds and sauteed in flavorful Indian spices. Vendors serve these “Rai wale Aloo” with Chili-Garlic Chutney and Indian tube fryums.
WHY EAT MASALA POTATOES WITH FRYUMS?
Fryums are like Papadum, crunch, crispy and perfectly shaped into a tube. The tube-like shape of fryums is perfect to poke and carry bite size potatoes and manage to get Chili-Garlic Chutney. The crunch of fryum with mustard seed tempered potatoes and chili-garlic sauce is an explosion of flavors in the mouth. My mother served masala potatoes with Roti(Indian flatbread) without chili-garlic chutney.
WHERE TO PURCHASE FRYUMS AND ARE THEY GLUTEN-FREE DIET FRIENDLY?
There are many different varieties of Bhungra(fryums) you can purchase from Indian grocery stores. The majority of Bhungra are made from Wheat flour. However, some are Gluten-Free and Vegan diet friendly. The Gluten-Free kinds are usually made of potato and tapioca starch. There is also an option to purchase Papadum for a Gluten-free option if you end up not finding the fryums. Veggie Straws are also a great gluten-free option.
Kashmiri red chili powder is made from dried Kashmiri chilies. Origins of Kashmir, India, the Kashmiri chilies are red wrinkly when dried and they produce a bright red chili powder with moderate heat. Kashmiri chili powder has a smoky flavor to it.
SUBSTITUTE FOR KASHMIRI CHILI POWDER
I have tried cooking my Masala Potatoes-Rai wale Aloo recipe thousands of times throughout my life and it never seems to disappoint me. My husband and his family aren’t Indian so I tend to experiment a lot with different substitutions for red chili powder. Years ago when we lived with my in-laws I used to try different substitutes for hot Indian spices lol. I have tried different Paprikas to substitute for red chili powder and I find Hungarian smoked Paprika to be the best substitute for Kashmiri chili powder for a non-spicy version. So, If you find that chili powder isn’t for you then try using red smoked paprika. It works wonders as well. Although, I prefer Kashmiri chili powder over any other substitution for an authentic taste.
I have always said, there is something magical about a mother’s food. I hope you experienced that in your life. If you haven’t had that opportunity to do so, then start with my mother’s recipe to feel the warmth and love that comes from mother’s food.
MASALA POTATOES-RAI WALE ALOO
- 2 pound Baby Potatoes
- 3 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Ginger-Garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon Coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- Boil the potatoes with a pinch of salt in an Instant Pot for 10 minutes on low pressure. Release the steam and transfer the potatoes into a large bowl with cold water. Let the potatoes rest in cold water for 10 minutes for easy peeling. Peel the skin off of the potatoes and set them aside.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet or a wok on medium heat. Add mustard seeds to the hot oil. Once the mustard seeds start to pop, bring the heat down to low.
- Now add ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, salt, and cumin-coriander powder. Stir continually and cook for few seconds then add Kashmiri chili powder.
- Quickly add boiled potatoes and toss them gently to coat the spices. Turn off the heat and garnish it with fresh cilantro.
- Serve it hot with Roti or Indian fryums.