Potato Free Potato Recipes? Aloo Methi
But Aloo Methi is made from Potatoes?
Yes, aloo methi is made from potatoes, fenugreek leaves and curry spices, but what if you can't eat potatoes? I have an allergy to potatoes. It is not a fatal allergy like some people who have commented here, but it is nasty. The very worst bit is I actually LIKE potatoes. I like the taste and texture of things like aloo gobi, potato salad and samosas so imagine my chagrin at watching Manjula's Kitchen on Youtube! This recipe was just so mouthwatering and so simple. Well, if you follow my posts on potato free cooking, you will know I am not afraid to experiment. So taking Manjula's recipe and applying a few little twists of my own I came up with this little side which would be wonderful with a fish, meat, bean or vegetable curry. Apologies to Manjula, but something needed to be done to strike a blow for potato allergy sufferers worldwide.
Fry cumin and coriander seeds in oil with chillis
Frying the spices
Stage one in any curry!
This recipes calls for cumin seeds and ground coriander, but I am rather partial to whole spices, so I used them instead. Manjula uses large chillies. Generally the large chillies are more mild. They were dried chillies in both cases, but I soaked mine for a while first so the heat would not burn them.
I fried in oil - you need a high temperature so refined oil is best - my preference is for sunflower oil as it is light tasting, but Canola would be great or even ghee.
The idea of frying the spices off for a few seconds is to liberate and intensify the flavor of the spices. The oil should be hot enough to make the cumin seeds fizz and pop.
Mad as a March Hare?
So, I am attempting a recipe without its main ingredient? A celebration of March Madness no doubt? Delicious, nonetheless...
Fun with Fenugreek - Kasuri Leaves and Methi Seeds
Here is a selection of methi leaves and seeds for cooking, plus some classic ready meal recipes using fenugreek leaves. You can also sprout fenugreek seeds for salads and garnishes. Methi or fenugreek is a liver tonic and purifier too so great if you are on a detoxing diet.
Fry the Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes
Fry your Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes
These are your potato substitutes!
I peeled and chopped a large sweet potato and three parsnips for my recipe. This would substitute for the potatoes in the original. Then I added them to the pan.
Before you go much further, you might like to watch Manjula's authentic Indian recipe - it will give you an idea exactly how she cooks the original and how delicious it must be!
Aloo Methi (Potatoes with Fenugreek Leaves) Subzi by Manjula - The inspiration for my dish!
Add more Spices and Methi Leaves
Adding Spices and Methi Leaves
The additional ingredients for this curry
The additional ingredients for this curry were methi (fenugreek) leaves, turmeric, salt, chilli powder, hing, and mango powder.
I had a problem with the hing and mango powder (amchur) so I substituted garlic for the hing and a very little mango chutney. I used half a cup of dried methi leaves, which I washed in a colander first as Manjula advised washing. If you can get fresh methi (fenugreek) leaves, you would use two cups instead. You discard the stalks and just use the leaves. Dried fenugreek is fine though I do intend to try to grow some in the summer!
Hing, or asafoetida, is often used in Indian cooking as a garlic substitute. The flavor of garlic is apparently considered an affront to the Gods by some Hindus, but hing is very pungent and savoury. It is also not common here, so I went back to garlic on this occasion.
I am not sure the mango chutney was a good thing, as parsnips and sweet potato need no sweetening and the recipe was a little sweeter than I am used to - still nice though. I will try to get some amchur (mango powder) online.
As I used dried methi leaves I added a little water to the mix to start it off, by the end this had all reduced away.
Indian Vegetarian and Vegan Cookery - A selection of great Indian vegetarian cookbooks
Here is a selection of great Indian vegetarian and vegan cookbooks. Indian cuisine is a simple way to enjoy vegetarian food because spices can be combined to produce intriguing and delicious flavors that will have you asking "Is meat really necessary?"
Are Potatoes too universal? - Is it wrong to emphasise any staple food?
Do food manufacturers put potato in too many things?
Indian Cuisine... - Spices and great ideas....
Cooking the Mix
Cooking the Mix of Vegetables and Spices
What I did, what could be improved!
Firstly, I put a little water in because I was scared of burning the dried methi leaves. I don't think this was a brilliant idea as the vegetables had no crunchy fried bits. Washing them was probably adequate! If I am successful with growing my own methi, I may just try it again without the water!
I did stir it quite often, but cooked it with the lid on. About 25 minutes saw the parsnips and the sweet potatoes done nicely.
I did add some red pepper as I had used small chillies, this was OK, but not necessary for flavor.
I found it a little sweet, so next time I will be sure to use the amchur (dried mango) - that's on my to order list failing a trip to Leicester in the near future. I am also considering adding a few ready cooked lentils to the mix to get a more starchy texture and taste.
This curry certainly improves with time, so I would say make double and keep some for next day! The amount I made would serve four as a side dish, but only two as a main.
Serving it with pilau rice and red beans with ginger made perfect sense in terms of a balanced protein intake, but it was a little too much for me as a diabetic because of the carbs. I was aware my blood sugar went too high, so another time I would serve it with something lighter, mattar paneer springs to mind, or a cauliflower bhaji perhaps.
The final result - a delicious supper
How I served my "non aloo methi"
Delicious and rather indulgent
Allowing for the mistakes I made, this really was a delicious curry. I served it with my own recipe red bean and ginger curry which is delightfully sharp and contrasted well and with pilau rice made with basmati rice, cinnamon bark, whole cardamoms and cloves. A few poppadoms and a little hot lime pickle would have made it perfect for me.
Future experiments with fresh methi and amchur powder are on the horizon....
Meanwhile, I continue my search for the perfect potato free potato curries and soups!
Fortunately my allergy to potatoes does not extend to the entire nightshade family. What would I do without my chillies and tomatoes?