Saturday, October 1, 2011

Bharwaan Aloo in Tarbuj Ki Karri ( Stuffed Potatoes in Rajasthani Watermelon curry)

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I have been contemplating a fruit based curry for over 2 years. The reason behind this has been a chicken in watermelon curry recipe that I found on a food magazine. I had tried that out and did not really like the way it turned out. So my joy knew no boundaries when I stumbled upon this watermelon curry recipe on the Saveur site. It was a traditional Rajasthani dish made with pieces of watermelon (both the red flesh and the outer white flesh) and the final dish was like a watermelon pieces in a thin curry dish. It's really so amazing, getting exposed to your country's culinary gems by someone in a different continent. The writers in Saveur based their recipe on one that appeared in 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer (Workman, 2008).
My take below was a little different. I turned this into a curry sauce in which I added some stuffed potatoes. Since, it was a very last minute decision to cook this one, the justice done to the stuffed potatoes was not as much as should have been, since I wanted to plate it up before the sun went down. The gravy on the other hand was a different story altogether. It tasted yum! and my better half and I are in total agreement that this is now part of our collection of dishes for the special occasions. I'm tempted to replace the stuffed potatoes with some fish, but for that to happen, we will need to wait till the Navratras (Traditional Hindu festival of 9 days of worship - No meat or egg) get over.
Incase you still want to cook it the traditional way (no stuffed potatoes), then click here for the original.
While you are at it and if you love stuffed potatoes, also check out Bharwan Aloo Churneywaale (Stuffed Potatoes in a chutney gravy) posted a few years earlier on this blog.

Bharwaan Aloo in Tarbuj Ki Karri (Stuffed Potatoes in Watermelon Curry)
(4 Portions)


For the Stuffed Potatoes (Bharwaan Aloo)
Potatoes, Medium, Peeled and cut into barrel shapes - 750 gm (Around 4-5 big potatoes)
Paneer, shredded - 120 gm
Green Chilies, minced finely - 4
Ginger, grated - 1 Tsp
Cashewnuts, crushed - 7
Cheese, grated - 3 Tblsp
Pomegranate Seeds - 1/2 Cup
Salt - To Taste
Oil - For frying

For the Watermelon Curry (Tarbuj Ki Karri)
Watermelon, medium sized - 1
Ajwain (Carum Seeds)- 1/2 Tsp
Cumin seeds (Zeera, whole)- 1/2 Tsp
Nigella seeds (black onion seeds) (Kalonji) - 1/2 Tsp
Dried Red chillies, stemmed - 2
Garlic, finely chopped - 4 Cloves
Turmeric powder (Haldi) - 1/4 Tsp
Oil - 2 Tblsp
Salt - To Taste

2 tsp. chopped fresh coriander, to garnish

Bharwaan Aloo
Heat Oil in a Kadhai (wok). Deep fry potatoes till three-fourths done.
2. Remove and cool the potatoes. Scoop out the centre leaving around 1/4' from the sides.
3.Keep Aside.
4. Now prepare the filling by mixing the grated paneer, finely chopped green chillies, grated ginger and crushed cashews & raisins. You can also add in some of the scooped potato after frying it a little & mashing it.
5. Stuff this filling in the potatoes.

Tarbuj Ki Karri
5. Trim and discard the green skin of the watermelon, leaving the inner, whitish flesh intact. Separate the white flesh from the red flesh with the knife, discard the seeds and cut both white & red flesh into 1-1.5" pieces. Set aside.
6. In a handi, heat oil over medium heat. Add ajwain, cumin, kalonji and dried red chillies and cook, until cumin starts to turn color (around 2 minutes).
7. Add chopped garlic and cook, until golden brown (around 30 seconds).
8. Add watermelon white flesh, salt, and turmeric and mix well. Cook until the white pieces turn color to light brown and all liquid evaporates. Stir occasionally.
9. Pour a cup of water into the handi, cover the pan, and simmer the curry over medium heat. Cook for around 10 minutes or till the white flesh pieces are tender.
10. Uncover the handi, add the red flesh pieces and any juice that you might have collected. Mix well.
11. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to boil, stirring occasionally for around 5 minutes, until the flesh softens slightly.
12. Switch off the flame and cool the curry.
13. After the curry has cooled down, process it in a blender.
14. Pass through a strainer into the handi.

Bringing it Together
15. Put the pureed curry back on flame and add in the potatoes.
16. Simmer till potatoes are done.
17. Check for seasoning.
18. Transfer curry to a serving bowl. Halve the stuffed potatoes and place with stuffed side up. Garnish with chopped Coriander.
19. Serve hot.


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