Recipe for Pahari Aloo Palda / Himachali Aloo Palda / Pahadi aloo
This summer vacation, we went to Dharamshala, in Himachal Pradesh. The mountain ranges followed us everywhere, giving us sightings of the snow capped Himalayas every once in a while. Our mobile phones wanted to capture every single picture postcard scene, and when we got tired of clicking, we simply put our phones aside and stared at the marvel of nature around us. One morning we went to Kangra Fort and after soaking in the history and the stunning architecture, we came back to Dharamshala way past lunchtime, ravenous, looking for a place to eat.
We spotted The Kunal, approved by Himachal Tourism. The hotel looked somewhat jaded, like it had seen better times. We ordered some basic food – the parathas, some subzis, dal and weren’t expecting too much. When the food came, we were utterly blown away by how delicious it was. I almost got this thought of trooping into the kitchen, kidnapping the chef and bringing him with me to Bangalore. Better sense prevailed and we quietly dug into our food. One of the Himachali dishes was called Palda. When I asked the waiter what it was, he said it is just our Kadhi, nothing special. I asked him to get it anyway. It was definitely not ‘just-a-kadhi’. It was thick, smooth and punctuated by chunks of spiced boiled potatoes, the aroma of cardamom and hints of mustard oil. I made a mental note to try this at home.
I did a search online of various Palda recipes, and I arrived at one that seemed closest to authentic. When Mother Dairy asked me to contribute to their #summerofhappiness to add to Chef Vikas Khanna’s recipes, I knew that the one thing I wanted to make with the Dahi was Palda. Here’s the recipe for this humble potato dish, Aloo Palda, from the mountains of Himachal.
Adapted from: The Restaurant Fairy’s Kitchen