Aloo Bharta – Indian style mashed potatoes with spices and herbs. Easy side for roti, rice idli & dosa. This is a gluten free and vegan side dish. Potatoes are an important part of the Indian cuisine. How can it not be, eh? It’s a world favourite, isn’t it?
Bharta or Bhorta means something that is mashed. So aloo bharta is mashed potatoes from the Indian subcontinent. Known by different names as aloo ka bhrta or aloo chokka or aloo bhorta, this is commonly made in Indian states like Bihar, Rajasthan and Bengal. The potato mixture is mixed with green chillies and onions and coriander leaves. The highlight of the dish is the slightly burnt garlic and cumin seeds. It imparts an excellent flavour to the potatoes.
The recipes from Bihar and Bengal also add mustard oil in this dish. Mustard oil is quintessential in the Northeast Indian cooking. It has a strong flavour that imparts a unique taste to the dish. This is generally used to sautee or shallow fry ingredients in Bengali & Odia cuisines. If you are keen on learning about the different cuisines of India, there is a new series on the blog starting with the Odia cuisine. My Odia friend has shared her family practices and traditions.
Different ways to use the Bharta :
The bharta is a universal side that can be used in many different ways. It is an amazing side dish and one of the quickest sides you can prepare for a meal.
- You can have them as a side of your rice.
- This is a great accompaniment to rotis & dosa. I would not prefer this with idli as it is solid. While dosa and roti can be used as a scoop it is slightly difficult with idli. Idli would need something moist like a chutney.
- You can make wraps and sandwiches using the potato stuffing along with few other condiments like hot sauce, few more slice of onions, pickles etc..
- This is an excellent alternate filling for Masala Dosa.
These are a few varieties that I have made. The options are endless as these are potatoes and potatoes go well with everything! So get creative. 🙂
Indian style mashed potatoes with spices and herbs. Easy side for roti, rice Idli & Dosa.
- 3 - 4 medium sized potatoes
- 1 medium sized red onion, finely chopped
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon oil, refer notes
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon finely sliced green chillies
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander leaves
- Some crushed black pepper corns or black powder (Optional)
Boil the potatoes until they are tender. If you use the pressure cooker, keep it for 3-4 whistles. Peel the skin and mash them with a fork or masher. Add the finely chopped onion and salt.
In a small pan or kadai, heat oil. Once it is hot, add the cumin seeds. As soon as it starts spluttering add the garlic. Keep stirring to prevent the garlic from burning.
Immediately add the green chillies. Once the garlic turns golden brown take it off the flame. Pour this over the potato mixture.
Mix well. Check for salt and adjust. Add some crushed blackpepper or powder. Garnish it with coriander leaves and serve on the side.
The authentic version of the recipe uses mustard oil which has a strong and pungent odour. But feel free to use any neutral oil.
The above measurements are for 1.5 to 2 cups of mashed potatoes. Adjust the ingredients based on the amount of mashed potato you have. The seasonings and spices can easily be increased or reduced based on your taste preference.
The amount of garlic mentioned gives the dish a garlicky taste, which is what I aimed for. Reduce it if you are not fond of garlic.
This post is a part of the Blogging marathon and this week’s theme is under Mashed. So the next three posts are going to be about different mashed recipes using different veggies.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#83