Sunday, February 01, 2009

Dimer Dalna

A hallmark of Bengali cuisine is the use of the following spices: cumin, fennel, fenugreek, mustard, and nigella seeds. Collectively known as panch phoran, or "five spices" in Bengali, the flavors meld well with potatoes and egg.

Aloo Dimer Dalna

2-3 Tbsp of ghee
2 Tbsp panch phoran
1 bay leaf
1 small cinnamon stick
1 tsp hing
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
3 large potatoes, cubed
1/2 cup water
2 tsp turmeric
salt & cayenne pepper to taste
6 hard-boiled eggs, with several slits cut into each
1 cup green peas

Lightly fry the panch phoran, bay leaf, hing, and cinnamon stick in the ghee. As soon as you hear a mustard seed pop, add the chopped onions. Stir well over medium low heat until the onions are just turning translucent. Add the ginger-garlic paste and stir VERY well. The paste will stick to the bottom the pan. A bit of that is okay, but stir, stir, stir! After 15-20 seconds of this, add the potatoes and keep stirring vigorously, so that potatoes are coated completely by the other ingredients.

Add the tomatoes. The liquid from the tomatoes should remove most of the ginger-garlic paste that adhered to the bottom of the pan. Once the tomatoes have pretty much cooked down, add the water, turmeric, cayenne, and salt, stir well, cover and simmer for 15 minutes (check after 10 minutes).

Finally, add the eggs and peas and simmer for 10 more minutes. Remove from heat, and let sit for a few minutes (the gravy will thicken up), then enjoy!

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