Aloo Allam Pachimirchi Koora ~ Andhra Style Spicy Potato Curry

This aloo allam pachimirchi koora is a traditional, spicy potato preparation from Andhra. This tasty curry used to be the most common potato preparation in our home while growing up as we loved it. A ground paste of green chillies and ginger flavor the curry while a little squeeze of a lemon at the end perks up the curry. Soaked and squeezed tamarind paste can be used in lieu of lemon. 

This simple preparation is a 'no onion/garlic' curry and can be included in festive menu as well. Plantains, elephant yam (kanda gadda), taro root (chama gadda) and even eggplants can be prepared in a similar manner. Plantains or eggplants prepared in this fashion used to be a fixture on wedding menus as well, my mother mentions.

Traditionally chilis, ginger and rock salt were ground together in a stone grinder without adding any water. A food processor / blender can be used for the same. Grind more chilis than needed if not sure about their potency. Taste the curry and use only as much as needed. (The Serrano peppers I use are super hot and so, I used only a long one.)

Ingredients: (4 servings)
3 potatoes (2 cups cooked potato cubes)
A pinch of turmeric powder
1/2 inch piece of ginger 
1 big spicy serrano pepper or any green chili as needed
1 to 2 tbsp. oil 
1 tsp. split peas / chana dal
1 tsp. skinned black gram / urad dal
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
A sprig of curry leaves
Salt to taste
1 tsp. lemon juice or to taste

Directions:
* Peel and cube the potatoes. Pressure cook them for 2 or 3 whistles adding turmeric and enough water. (Or the potatoes can be scrubbed, cut into halves, cooked and then peeled.) Let the potatoes cool, mash them and keep aside. A few chunks of potatoes here and there is fine.
* Coarsely grind the green chili and ginger without adding any water. 
* Heat oil in a pan on medium flame and add split peas, black gram and mustard seeds. When split peas and black gram start to turn brownish, add curry leaves and stir once.
* Next add ground ginger - chili and stir for few seconds.
* Then add mashed potatoes, and salt and mix well. Cook for a couple of minutes and turn off the stove. 
* Add lemon juice to suit your taste and stir to combine. (In absence of lemon, tamarind can be used.)
* Serve warm with rice and a drizzle of ghee.

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This post is an entry for Blogging Marathon with the theme 'Dry Side Dishes'. Check the link to find out what other marathoners are cooking.

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