Aaloo Gajar reminds me of my father because I associate it with the large events we had at my house when I was growing up. The 'niazes' where people would stream in and out of the house, sampling the spread my mother orchestrated. More often than not, about an hour before the event was supposed to end it would become clear to my father that we were running out of food, an unforgivable sin for a Pakistani host. Us siblings would handle it the only way we knew how - by avoiding him (Sorry Abu). When the night would finally end my mother would hold up the two spoonfuls of chicken and two spoonfuls of aaloo gajar that someone left out of politeness as proof positive that we did not actually run out of food. My father, a committed husband, would pretend to agree.
This is a simple sabzi (veggie) to make and I adore the contrast between the sweetness of the carrots and the heat of the green chillies. My tolerance for raw green chillies is pretty low so I add them earlier in the cooking process than some which allows their sharp fragrance to really flavor the dish and allows me to eat it without drinking a pitcher of milk.
I like to make a small amount because I find that next day leftovers are not as good - maybe my mother was on to something there 😉
1 large or 2 small carrots
2 yukon gold potatoes
4-6 green chillies, halved
½ tsp nigella seeds/ kalonji
⅔ tsp salt
oil for cooking
You can cut the veggies any way you please, but I like them cut in thick matchsticks, roughly an inch and a quarter long and less than a cm thick. They cook relatively quickly and are so fun to eat this way. When cut in this manner I wind up with two cups of carrot sticks and an equivalent amount of potatoes.
Heat a glug of oil in a large bottomed pan on medium high heat. It should coat the bottom of the pan. Add the seeds and when they start to splutter and give off a lovely aroma then add the carrots. Add half the salt, mix well. Cover and cook on low heat for 10-12 minutes until the carrots are tender crisp. Now add the potatoes and the remaining salt. Cover and cook for another 8-10 minutes till the potatoes are tender crisp, i.e. they break but with a little pressure. Add the slit green chillies, mix well, and cook, covered, for five minutes. Give it a taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- 1 large or 2 small carrots
- 2 yukon gold potatoes
- 4-6 green chillies halved
- ½ tsp nigella seeds/ kalonji
- ⅔ tsp salt
- oil for cookin
Cut the veggies in a similar dice - thicker matchsticks/ slim french fries is my preferred shape.
Heat a glug of oil in a large bottomed pan on medium high heat.
Add the seeds and when they start to splutter then add the carrots and half the salt, mix well. Cover and cook on low heat for 10-12 minutes until the carrots are tender crisp.
Now add the potatoes and the remaining salt and cook for another 8-10 minutes till the potatoes are almost done.
Add the slit green chillies, mix well, and cook, covered, for five minutes. Adjust seasoning if needed.
If the veggies start to stick then add a little more oil. Also please note that this delicious celebrates the natural flavours of the veggies, the green chillies may seem like a lot, but they are a must!