I’m here today with the recipe for Aloo Ke Gutke, a curry made using potatoes from the state of Uttarakhand.
A bit about Uttarakhand and its cuisine
Uttarakhand is a state in the north of India, nestled in the Himalayan mountains. The state was carved out of Uttar Pradesh in the year 2007, with Dehradun being its capital. Uttarakhand boasts of several tourist destinations like the ski resort of Auli, the Jim Corbett National Park, the Valley of Flowers, the hill stations of Dehradun and Mussoorie, the famous trekking site of Roopkund. It is also referred to as ‘Land of the Gods’, as it is home to many pilgrimage spots like Haridwar, Rishikesh, Badrinath, Kedarnath and Piran Kaliyar Sharif.
The food of Uttarakhand is simple and honest, yet bursting with flavours. Wheat is the staple here, with several locally grown grains like maize, mandua (buckwheat), bhatt (soyabean) and gahat (horsegram) also occupying pride of place in meals. Vegetables play an important role in Uttarakhand cuisine, including many local varieties like bicchu ghaas (nettles), bhaang (cannabis) seeds and lingru (fiddlehead ferns). Chainsoo, Bhaang Ki Chutney, Kandalee Ka Saag, Dubuk, Kafuli, Aloo Ke Gutke, Mandua Ki Roti and Phaanu are some of the most popular dishes in Uttarakhand.
Information courtesy: Wikipedia
What are Aloo Ke Gutke?
Like I was saying earlier, Aloo Ke Gutke refers to a type of potato curry made in the state of Uttarakhand. It is a very simple preparation, one that uses minimal ingredients and can be made within a matter of minutes. That said, it is quite flavourful and delicious!
Aloo Ke Gutke – also called Pahadi Aloo – is typically consumed with pooris, rotis or parathas. However, it is sometimes also eaten on its own too, as a snack.
I made this curry some time back, and served it with phulka rotis, and it went on to be very well appreciated.
Ssshhh Cooking Secretly Challenge
I’m part of this Facebook group called Sssshhh Cooking Secretly Challenge, where the members cook dishes from one Indian state every month. The members form pairs, and each pair exchanges two secret ingredients, which are used to cook the dish of the month. Isn’t that so very interesting?
This month, at Ssshhh Cooking Secretly, we are presenting recipes from Uttarakhand. I was paired with Mayuri of Mayuri’s Jikoni, a very talented blogger with several wonderful bakes, Gujarati dishes, Indian regional foods and global cuisines to her credit. She assigned me the two secret ingredients of dry red chillies and coriander powder, and I decided to use them to make these Aloo Ke Gutke. You must also check out the lovely dish that Mayuri prepared using the ingredients I gave her!
Aloo Ke Gutke recipe
Here’s how you go about making Aloo Ke Gutke or Pahadi Aloo. I followed this recipe from Something’s Cooking.
This is a completely vegetarian and vegan preparation, suited to those following a plant-based diet. Skip the asafoetida used in the tempering here to make the curry gluten-free. This is because most brands of asafoetida available in India contain some amount of wheat flour in them. However, if you can find 100% gluten-free asafoetida, you can definitely use it.
Ingredients (serves 3-4):
- 6-7 medium-sized potatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- 2 teaspoons red chilli powder or to taste
- 1-1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 tablespoon mustard oil
- 2 pinches of asafoetida
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2-3 dry red chillies
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
1. Wash the potatoes well under running water, removing all traces of dirt from them. Now, cut each one into half and transfer to a wide vessel. Add in just enough water to cover the potatoes fully. Pressure cook on high flame for 2 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.
2. In a small bowl, take the salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin powder. Add in about 2 teaspoons of water, and make a lump-free slurry. Keep aside.
3. When the pressure from the cooker has gone down entirely, get the potatoes out. Discard the water the potatoes were cooked in. Let the cooked potatoes cool down enough to handle, then peel them. Cut the peeled potatoes into wedges or any other shape you prefer. Keep aside.
4. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the cumin seeds, asafoetida and dry red chillies. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds.
5. Now, reduce the flame to low-medium. Add in the slurry we prepared earlier. Mix well.
6. Immediately add in the potato wedges. Mix well, ensuring that the potatoes are evenly coated with the spices.
7. Cook on low-medium flame for 3-4 minutes, stirring intermittently to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan. Mix gently to avoid breaking up of the potato wedges. Taste and adjust salt and spices if needed. Switch off gas when the potatoes are done cooking.
8. Mix in finely chopped fresh coriander, gently. Your Aloo Ke Gutke are now ready to serve, with rotis, pooris, parathas or rice.
Tips & Tricks
1. Traditionally, a special variety of potatoes grown in Uttarakhand – called Pahadi Aloo – are used to make this curry. I didn’t have access to those, so I used regular potatoes instead.
2. Make sure you cook the potatoes for just 2 whistles. They should be cooked through, but not overly mushy. Alternatively, you could steam the potatoes first before proceeding to make the curry.
3. A locally grown spice called ‘Jakhiya‘ is used in the Aloo Ke Gutke, traditionally. I skipped that since I didn’t have any.
4. Adjust the quantities of red chilli powder, salt, coriander powder and roasted cumin powder as per personal taste preferences.
5. You could add a dash of lime juice to the Aloo Ke Gutke at the end, to make it more flavourful. However, that is not how it is done traditionally, so I refrained. A bit of garam masala would add a beautiful taste to the curry as well, albeit not a very traditional touch.
6. I have used mustard oil to make the Aloo Ke Gutke, as per the original recipe. I would highly recommend using it, too, as it adds a special flavour to the curry. However, you may use any other variety of oil if you so prefer.
Did you like the recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!