Pahari Aloo Palda | Potato in Yogurt Gravy - Himachal Pradesh

From Haryana, its time to travel to our next destination.We are now going to a place that is famous for its abundant natural beauty.Yes, it is Himachal Pradesh!This place is called known by the term - Dev Bhoomi or the 'Abode of God'!

This state too dates back to the Indus valley Civilization that flourished between 2250 and 1750 BC. Several tribes like the Koilis,Halis,Dagis,Dhaugris etc inhabited this region from the pre-historic time.

This state is said to be the 'Fruit bowl of India' with a large number of orchards .It is said that the Government is going ahead with plans to make it the 'Flower Basket of the world'!!Shimla and Manali are one of the most popular tourist spots in this state along with Dharmashala being one of the coldest hill station.

Wheat,Maize, Rice and barley are the main cereals grown in this land.

The Pahari food / The dishes from Himachal Pradesh are little known to the outside world. But now a days with major cities taking up the cuisines that are rarely eaten elsewhere,this too is slowly getting known,if not becoming popular.

This cuisine is said to be influenced by both the Punjabi and Tibetan cuisines.

Traditionally, the most preferred food in this land is Red meat and white bread.Aromatic spices are used in the dishes and the gravies are thick and creamy.

The most favorite or typical dishes here is the Dal- Chawal or a meal of rice and lentil based dish and Roti-Sabzi - Flat bread with a vegetable side dish.

The food festival of Dham is a popular tourist attraction and it draws crowd from all over the world.The dishes are prepared by the Brahman Chefs in this food festival. The actual cooking begins the night before the festival starts and the meal is served on leaf plates.

Behind the scenes:

Out of the many recipes that I had noted for this state, I wanted to make this one because I love yogurt based dishes. It is quite easy to make is so similar to the More kuzhambu we make in the South, only we don't add whole spices to the gravy.

This is one of the dishes that I liked and the others were not keen on going for a second helping. It may be because I used very less chili powder.

As always, since it is an yogurt based dish, I loved it. I had it with rice and the left over was eaten at dinner as such. It was great both ways.

Now to the recipes....

I used:
Source - The Food Fairy

Potatoes- 2, peeled and sliced like finger chips
Yogurt- 3 cups
Salt to taste
Ghee- 1 teaspoon

Asafoetida- a large pinch
Garam masala-1 teaspoon
Coriander powder- 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder- a large pinch

Whole spices

Cumin seeds- 1 teaspoon
Cinnamon- a small piece
Cardamom - 1
Bay leaf - 1
Cloves- 2

Heat ghee in a pan and add the whole spice. Saute for a minute till they release a good aroma.Add the sliced onions and saute till translucent.Add the powders and mix well.

Put in the potato pieces and add around 1/2 cup water, mix well and cover and cook till the potatoes are almost done and the mixture is dry. Take care not to burn it. Keep stirring once in a while while it is getting cooked and add more water if needed. Meanwhile, whisk the curd.

Add rice flour to the curd and whisk without lumps.Pour this mixture into the pan and stir well to mix. Add salt and simmer.

Remove from heat after a few minutes and serve....

Aloo palada served with Rice and roti....

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