My initial working years in the kitchen were in Varanasi in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, and my cooks in the hotel kitchen used to make this often for their lunch. It is prepared in a similar way in the neighboring state of Bihar.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
2 tablespoons filtered mustard oil (see Notes)
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 dried red chiles, stemmed
3 medium red onions, chopped
3 or 4 cloves garlic, crushed
3 or 4 green chiles, stemmed and chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground roasted cumin
6 small potatoes, boiled, peeled, and mashed
1 teaspoon amchur (dried mango powder)
1 teaspoon table salt
1. Place a medium nonstick sauté pan over medium heat and add the mustard oil. When the oil starts smoking, remove from the heat and cool slightly.
2. Crush the coriander seeds in a mortar with a pestle. Cut the dried chiles into small pieces.
3. Return the pan with the oil to medium heat. When small bubbles appear at the bottom of the pan, add the dried chiles and onions, and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onions are golden brown.
4. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for 1 minute. Add the green chiles, crushed coriander seeds, ground coriander, and cumin powder, and stir. Add the potatoes and stir. Add the amchur and salt and stir well.
5. Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot.
Mustard oil is available in two varieties, filtered and refined. If you are using filtered mustard oil, you will need to first heat it until it reaches the smoking point, then let it cool completely before using. If you are using the refined variety, you can use it right away. In either case, please use mustard oil that is labeled specifically for cooking. If you cannot find it, regular vegetable oil will work as well.