Sunday, January 13, 2013

Aloo Saunfiyana (Fennel Flavored Baby Potatoes in a rich gravy)

Ladies and Gentlemen, please put your hands together and welcome the first vegetarian dish on my blog. Being the first veggie dish means it had to be something special and what better dish than something made from the world’s favorite vegetable, the humble potato. Well, what do I say about the potato that hasn’t been said already? Simply put, if there was an award in the vegetable kingdom, I’m sure the humble potato would sure win the “most versatile ingredient award” hands down. Wedges, fries, and mashes, you name it and the potato has adapted itself so wonderfully to suit taste tastes and culinary preferences. You shouldn’t be surprised that across the world, there are more than 3000 different ways to cook the potato.

The dish for today is “Aloo Saunfiyana”. Honestly, I have made this dish many times earlier each time making subtle changes and this recipe finally was confirmed to be worthy of the blog by the two taste queens at my place, my mum and my sister. Infact, I had made this when a cousin had come over for dinner (a slightly drier version though) and she’s been asking me for the recipe since then. Even if you prefer spicy food, my suggestion is try not using too many spices. The crisp fried baby potatoes and the strong fennel form a combination you wouldn’t want to resist for long.

I do hope you will like it as much as my cousin did!

Aloo Saunfiyana

  • 200 grams baby potatoes
  • 1 cup boiled onion paste * Refer note 1 below
  • 125 grams curd (beaten well)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped (I used red chili flakes; just for a slight twist)
  • 2 large tablespoons fennel seeds (lightly roasted and crushed a bit) *Refer note 2 below
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • Oil for frying the potatoes and 3 tablespoons oil for the gravy
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh Coriander leaves, chopped
  • Ginger juliennes for garnishing

  • Peel, wash, prick and fry the potatoes till they are golden brown in colour. Once done, remove on an absorbent paper and keep aside.
  • For the gravy, heat oil in a pan add the cumin seeds and garlic paste and cook well.
  • Now add in the boiled onion paste and cook till the raw smell leaves and the paste starts leaving the sides. If it is getting too dry, you could add in very little water
  • Once the onion paste is cooked add in the chilli flakes, chilli powder, turmeric powder and the garam masala powder. Cook this for a while.
  • Add in the curd and stir well so that all ingredients integrate well. Add some water if required.
  • When it comes to a boil add in the potatoes and mix well till the potatoes are well covered with the gravy.
  • Add in the fennel seeds, chopped and the salt and stir well.
  • Garnish with ginger juliennes and serve hot with chappatis or parathas


  1. For the boiled onion paste:
  • Peel about 3- 4 onions (depending on the quantity of paste you want) and cut them into halves.
  • In a deep pan add water and bring to a boil. Once the water boils add the onions and cook till the onions soften or loose colour.
  • Once they are cooked, remove the onions and put them in a bowl of cold water. This is to stop the cooking process.
  • After about 5 minutes, grind them to a fine paste.
  • This paste can be used as a base for gravies by itself.

  1. For the fennel seeds.
·         Lightly roast the fennel seeds on a pan and when they cool crush them lightly; but not entirely as you don’t want a powder. Use as instructed in the recipe.

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