Sunday, March 17, 2013

Chettinad Potato Kurma - A spicy & aromatic fare

Think of lunch or dinner and the thought of what to cook as side-dish harrows me the most. It doesn't matter whether the fridge & pantry are stocked or not - the question of what to bring on to the table as an accompaniment is daunting. 

It is as if you are waiting for some bulb to glow in the treasured hallows of the mind. The challenge becomes even more grueling if you are expecting some guests at home.

Recently we were hosting a few friends and the what for side-dish woe hit me hard. Not successful in tackling this challenge , I called out to hubby for demystifying. Now the thing with talking out loud to hubby is to return back a lot more muddled and/or scorched. Sample a small chat with him:-

I am thinking of dal for lunch today
{Pop goes the reply}
didn't u make that  2 days back ? 
Ok I drawled -- what about spinach ?
It is boring. 
Hmm let me tackle the eggplant then
can't that wait for some other time ?
(Temperature Rising)
Fine let me make a simple okra stir fry
It is too simple
Puffing out like a steam engine I mumbled Thank you so muchhh (grrrr)

Then I remembered bookmarking a few side-dishes from Radhika's space. Of them, a few chettinad dishes had caught my eye. Dishes from the chettinad region are her favorite and rightly so. So aromatic and spicy, the cuisine is literally a  food connoisseur's heaven. High on spices such as fennel, black peppercorn, cinnamon & bay, the cuisine promises a tongue tickling fare always. The dish I chose had potatoes as the star signalling that my woe for the day was over :D

While I stuck to the recipe, I did add some black peppercorns and adjusted the other spices to taste. The dish was thoroughly enjoyed by all and the aroma from it was divine.

What's in it :- (Serves: 5 to 6)
  • Potatoes (big) – 4
  • Onion medium – 2
  • Bay leaf – 1
  • Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
  • Cloves – 2
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil / Ghee – 2 tbsp + 2 tsp
For the Spice Paste:
  • Fresh grated coconut – 1/4 cup
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece
  • Garlic – 3 to 4 large pods
  • Cashew nuts – few
  • Poppy seeds – 2 tsp
  • Coriander seeds – 1 tsp
  • Fennel seeds – 2 to 3 tsp
  • Whole Red Chillies – 6 to 7
  • Black Peppercorn - 1 tbsp
  • Roasted Bengal Gram / Pottu kadalai – 1 tsp

Here's How:-

Wash and pressure cook potatoes with the skin and cook for 2-3 whistles. Remove the skin and cube them. Keep aside. Soak the cashew nuts and poppy seeds in little warm water for 1/2 hour. Chop the onions finely.

Heat a pan with 2 tsp of oil and add coriander seeds, fennel seeds, red chillies and toss over medium flame will they are well roasted. In a mixie jar place these roasted spices, soaked cashew nuts, poppy seeds, roasted bengal gram / pottu kaldalai, ginger, garlic, grated coconut and grind to a fine paste using little water and keep aside.

Heat a pan with 2 tbsp of oil / ghee. Season with bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon, curry leaf and roast for a minute. Add onions and sauté till pink. Add the ground paste and cook over low heat while stirring continuously for 2-3 mins.

Add the cubed potatoes, turmeric powder, salt, enough water to the consistency you prefer and mix well. Cover the pan and let it cook for 5-7 mins over low flame. Give a mix once in a while. Add a little more water if the kurma is very thick.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis/chappathis or any rice.

Chef Notes:-

  • Add a little more water if the kurma is too thick
  • Adjust the spices to your requirement
  • Instead of soaking the poppy seeds , you can also dry roast the same and powder it finely.

This is off to this month's Avant Garde Cookies - Blog Hop CHallenge.


  1. Delicious and mouthwatering kurma. Wonderfully prepared.

  2. Looks great! Husband has made chettinad chicken with the same spices and it tasted amazing. Will ask him to try this! :D

  3. Chettinad cuisine is something very close to my heart, kurma looks full of flavours.

  4. Very tasty kurma....masala looks very appetizing....

  5. chettinad cuisine is new to me, but this flavourful potatoes are so tempting ! perfect side dish.

  6. I renounced Potatoes for 1 month in order to cut extra carbs. And now you post this. :P Having never tasted Chettinad cuisine, it is now my "responsibility" to make this today! :D

    Love the 2nd pic a lot!! Showing off your dslr skills aa?!! :P

  7. looks really flavorful... the pics are lovely... :)

  8. Love the color of your kurma ...absolutely fantastic!

  9. Delicious Clicks Priya and I like the way you incorporate the food being enjoyed by your kids as well. Brings so much life to the whole recipe.

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  11. Superb recipe , nicely explained:) do visit my blog and follow back @

  12. This is too good dear!!! Potato kurma...craving for it now ;)

  13. potato kurma looks flavorful and yumm
    new follower to your blog

  14. Love the picture of Samyu with her half off nail polish - I have quite a few pics of those kinds myself :)

  15. Soemthing must have been terrible wrong with my google reader.. donno why I haven't been getting your updates.. Hope I dont miss a post with feedly now..
    Perfectly done kurma...