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A Taste Of North India: Bharwan Aloo

Even though it is appetizer,Bharwan Aloo makes an excellent meal when served with a dal preparation and naan.

TGIW - Thank God It's Winter!
Translated as 'Bharwan' meaning stuffed,and 'Aloo' meaning potato,this hearty Indian starter is perfect for winter months!You can also eat it all year round like Indians,though.
Humble potatoes are turned into a sublime dish,rather experience,stuffed with cottage cheese,processed cheese,nuts,green chilies and selected herbs and spices.Then rubbed with a ginger and garlic marinade,they are grilled in hot oven.The result is marvelous,and when served with green chutney,adds enough jazz to ensure if you are not physically in India eating Bharwan Aloo,spiritually you are!

Preparation Time : 30 minutes
Cooking Time : 35 minutes
Servings : 4

4 medium potatoes - parboiled in salted water and peeled
1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri chily powder
Pinch/few drops of red food coloring
Salt to taste
Oil for frying
30 gm cottage cheese - grated
60 gm processed cheese - grated
6 cashewnuts - chopped
7 raisins
1/4" piece ginger - chopped finely
1 teaspoon green coriander(cilantro) - chopped
1/2 teaspoon dry mango powder(amchoor)
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 green chilies - deseeded and chopped
Generous pinch of black salt
Salt and white pepper to taste
1 teaspoon oil
Chaat masala to sprinkle
1 onion - thinly sliced
1 lemon - cut into wedges
1 green chili


Take a potato and cut a slice each from both of its ends,evenly and thinly(This would help the potato to stand vertically). Now,cut it into halves along its width.Repeat with the rest of the potatoes.
Take a potato half and using a melon baller,neatly scoop out flesh from the centre,hollowing it out and leaving walls on the sides.Alternately,you may use a spoon.Do it gently,scraping the sides,ensuring that these walls are evenly thick.Repeat with the rest of the potato halves.
Collect half the scooped out flesh in a bowl(We will be using only half of it for this recipe) ,and mash it with your fingers.
Now,deep fry the hollow potato shells in hot oil on medium flame,till light browned.Take out with a slotted spoon and keep aside.
For the filling,start with heating the oil in a pan.When hot,tip in the cumin seeds.As they splutter,add the green chilies and stir.Stir in the mashed potatoes along with ginger next.Ginger will add a burst of freshness and warmth.Cook until the potatoes become heated through and add the cottage cheese,cashewnuts,raisins,dry mango powder and black salt.Give a good stir,and switch off the heat.Let it cool down to room temperature.
Once the filling cools down to room temperature,mix in the processed cheese and cilantro.Season with salt and pepper,remembering that black salt has been added and processed cheese has salt too.Stuff this delicious filling in hollow potato shells.Marinade the outside of potato shells with ginger-garlic paste,Kashmiri red chily powder,red food coloring,salt and one teaspoon of oil.Refrigerate until serving time.This will allow the flavors to marry and steep in the potatoes nicely.Refrigeration will dehydrate the marinade,making it coat the potatoes well.
At the time of serving,pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C/390 degrees F.Place the stuffed potatoes on a grill rack,and broil/grill till the marinade dries and they become browned.Remove the ready crisp on the outside,molten and creamy inside potatoes from the oven carefully,and cut them into thick slices.Transfer to a serving platter.Sprinkle chaat masala and put lemon wedges,onion slices and green chili on the side.Serve with green chutney,and...Woah!You are in India!

Any leftover stuffing can be used to make a lovely Indian influenced sandwich or paratha.

Very often,Bharwan Aloo is added to a tomato and onion gravy in India,to make another stunning preparation called Dum Aloo! 

Creative Commons License
This work by Fahad Khan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

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+ comments + 1 comments

28/08/2012, 01:03

loved this recipe... will try it for sure :)

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