Okay, before I get carried away by Alu Dum saga, let me make a point here. We are Bongs and we don’t eat alu dum. We eat Aloor Dom. If you’re a Bong you would know what I mean. If you’re not…well…ignore! As I’ve mentioned here, Luchi/Aloor Dom is an integral part of the pujo breakfast fare. Ever since I’ve hopped from pandal to pandal as a kid, I’ve seen people finish off their anjalis (offerings) and queue in front of the nearest food stall for their share of the dream-combo. Now, I’m not very religious (also, I’m a Brahmo and generally don’t perform rituals), so I have never been tied down with the compulsion of offering anjali before I could satiate my growling stomach. And by the time people would be done with their noble deed of the day, I would already be 5-6 luchis down. Accompanying breakfast would be Thakurer prashad, of which my top favourite items would be narkoler naaru, gujiya and chaal makha. Pujo has come and pujo has gone. But this ritual hasn’t changed. Now that I eagerly mark the calender for my favourite days of the year to unfold, let me also share with you my favourite breakfast, not just for those 4 days, but for the remaining 361 days as well!
Baby potatoes – 500 gm (You can use regular potatoes as well, but make sure you
Garlic, chopped roughly: 1 tbsp
Ginger, grated: 1 tbsp
Green chilies: 3-4
Coriander powder: 1 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1 tsp + for marination
Cumin powder: 1 tsp
Kashmiri red chilli powder: 1 tsp
Cinnamon: 1 stick
Black cardamoms: 2
Green cardamoms: 4
1 bay leave
Oil: 1 1/2 tbsp + for frying
Milk: 1/2 cup
Yoghurt: 1/2 cup
Cream: 3-4 tbsp (optional)
Salt: to taste
Sugar: if needed and as required
1. Parboil the potatoes either in a pressure cooker or in a pan. Now marinade the pieces with 1/2 tsp turmeric and some salt and keep aside for 20 min.
2. In the meanwhile make a paste of the onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies. Take 1/3rd of that and beat in with the yoghurt. Set aside.
3. Heat a thick-bottomed pan/kadhai. Add oil and lightly fry the potatoes till golden brown. Strain in a paper tissue and keep aside.
4. In the same pan, heat more oil (if necessary) and add the whole spices. After they release aroma, say after 30 seconds, add the remaining onion paste. Fry until it all turns golden brown, say 3-4 minutes.
5. In a bowl, mix the powdered masalas with 2-3 tbsp of water and add to the kadhai along with salt. Keep stirring till oil separates. Add the potatoes and coat them well with the masala. Add sugar, if you want to.
6. Now add the milk, cook for a few seconds and add yoghurt. If you want to reduce the gravy, crank the heat to medium high till gravy reaches the desired consistency. Add the cream (if using) and give a final stir.
7. Garnish with coriander and serve with phulko luchi (piping hot Bengali-style pooris)