Nepal Food Recipe (3) – Scorching Piro Aloo

In the high ramparts of the Nepal Himalaya it’s impossible to grow much in the way of crops. But, the humble potato can and indeed does. So much so that the potato has become a staple of the Sherpa people in the Everest region.

The Everest region of Nepal

So, you’ll find variations of our latest Nepal Food recipe Piro Aloo in many of the highest settled valleys of the Nepal Himalaya and the arid lands of Mustang on the Tibetan plateau and nowadays elsewhere in Nepal too.

In more remote locations the dish may well be just potatoes and chillies….lots of chillies, which of course is a great way of staving off the bitterly cold winter nights in the mountains. Simple and basic mountain food at its best.

The people of Nepal like their chillies though and whilst India too has it’s own “spicy potato” dishes too, the Nepali version is invariably much hotter!

Of course you can always reduce (or increase) the quantity of chilli use depending upon whether you just want a mild chilli hit, or a total “head blown off” experience.

A “potato powered” Sherpa from the Khumbu (Everest) region of Nepal

Our recipe below could regarded as “quite hot”, without the use of chilli overpowering the flavours other spices bring to this particular dish.

This hot and spicy dish can be served as a”standalone” with chappati or an unleavened bread of your choice.

Or, why not combine it as a “starter snack selection” with our Sukuti Sandheko

Piro Aloo

PIRO ALOO RECIPE

Preparation time– 15 mins approx

Cooking time – 20 mins approx

Serves – 2

Ingredients

500g peeled potatoes – chopped to medium/small “chunk” sizes

1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds

4 whole red chillies (dried)

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp Ajwain*

2 tbsp garlic & ginger paste

2 tsp red chilli powder

Pinch of Timuur**

Salt (to taste)

3 tbsp mustard oil

small handful of chopped, fresh coriander

*Ajwain is the Nepali name for lovage. You can easily purchase online e.g. AMAZON

**Timuur is a Nepali peppercorn and from the same family as Szechuan pepper. You can easily purchase online e.g. AMAZON

Cooking method

  1. Make your garlic and ginger paste by combining a 50:50 ratio of finely chopped garlic and ginger and then blend/grind into a paste.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp of mustard oil in a pan until hot and then add the fenugreek seeds and whole chillies. Allow to splutter, but not burn.
  3. Add the potatoes, turmeric powder and salt. Raise the heat to high and cook, whilst continuously stirring until the potatoes take on a roasted appearance.
  4. Lower the heat to medium and continue to cook until the potatoes are fully cooked i.e. soft. A little water may be added if needed, but make sure the water is fully absorbed/evaporated.It’s more desirable that the potatoes taste fried, rather than boiled.

  • Remove the potatoes from the pan and put to one side.
  • Using the same pan add a tbsp of mustard oil and when hot add the garlic and ginger paste.
  • Sauté whilst stirring for 5 mins.
  • Add the chilli powder and timuur and sauté for a further minute. Keep stirring!
  • Add the potatoes back into the pan and continue cooking, whilst stirring regularly for a further 5 mins.
  • Add the chopped coriander, stir through and cook for 1 min.
  • Your Piro Aloo is now ready to serve……enjoy

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