Smashed Potato & Black Eyed Peas Curry - Aloo ki Thechwani
Thechwani is a rustic curry from the mountains of North India, Uttarakhand to be precise. It is prepared with local radishes or potatoes, or a mix of both. This recipe does not use a knife. The potatoes / radishes are smashed with a stone, and then cooked into a delicious curry.
On a trip to Kanatal, I had the opportunity to learn a local recipe from the chef at the hotel. The mountains of North India use potatoes in their cuisine in numerous ways. Simple, hearty fare to feed their families. This is usually served with rice.
In this recipe, I have added some black eyed peas or lobia / chauli beans to add some more heft and protein.
Use a mortar-pestle to smash the scrubbed potatoes or use a stone that has been washed clean. No need to peel the potatoes. Leaving the peels intact adds to the nutrition of the dish and also keeps with the rustic nature of the dish.
- In a pressure pan, heat the oil. Splutter cumin and mustard seeds.
- Add the garlic, ginger and onion. Sauté on low heat for 3-4 minutes.
- Meanwhile, smash the raw potatoes with skin into medium sized pieces using a pestle or a clean stone.
- Add the tomatoes to the fried onions, sauté for 3-4 minutes, add the smashed potatoes, soaked lobia, dry masalas, salt. Stir well to combine.
- Add hot water and pressure cook for 2 whistles and 6-8 minutes on sim.
- Once the pressure has subsided, open the cooker lid, garnish with coriander leaves and serve with steamed rice or hot phulkas.
You can omit the black eyed peas and make this curry with just potatoes, or radish or a mix of radish and potatoes. Smash the radish, with a mortar-pestle, just like you would, the potatoes. If you don't like the taste of mustard oil, use regular neutral flavoured cooking oil.