Recipe contributed by Binaifer Hasnain
Foodie and a Culinary Aficionado, Binaifer was born in India, raised in Pakistan and lives in Dubai. She is an investment banker whose true calling is a restaurateur.
I grew up in a traditional Parsi household wherein I was exposed to culinary delights courtesy of my Nani and Dadi and subsequently my mum. The sociable kitty, birthday, navjote & wedding parties as well as Ghambars gradually kindled my love of learning how to prepare Parsi food initially for family and subsequently for friends. As a mother of 2 “picky about anything food” boys and married to a fellow foodie who “lives to eat”, I had to bring my “A game” to the kitchen.
In a Parsi household, perhaps no other ingredient brings more bind and joy on the dining table than the ubiquitous Solanum Tuberosum or simply put Potato. Papeto, Pateto or as the world calls it, Potato is an amazingly versatile ingredient. It adjusts to almost any recipe and goes with anything you make. From Bhindi to Biryani, Papeta nu Gosh to Potato Sali per edu, the mighty Aloo reigns supreme in Parsi households primarily because for most Bawas that is the one and only ‘vegetable’ they will happily consider eating more than once in a month.
With my mum’s birthday falling on Bahman Mahino, Bahman Roj (a day when most Parsis eat vegetarian food in homage to the angel that protects animals), as kids we used to wait for this day because she used to make finger licking vegetarian food in the form of Hing Rai Potato, Puri & Doodh Pak along with green chutney brinjal.
I don’t know just about when in history Hing Rai Potato became a Parsi dish as when you see the recipe you will guess that it has firm Gujarati roots. Perhaps, like the Dahi Kadhi this is just one recipe we have out and out copied from the Gujarati’s and adopted it since we love potatoes so much. With fond childhood memories I bring you today this recipe passed down from my granny that has delighted many a taste bud in my home.
Bawi Bride’s Note:
This is one rare Parsi vegetarian dish. Ofcourse, if you have some leftover papeto or can’t bear to have only potatoes then feel free to either break an egg on it or even add in some spiced prawns to jazz it up.
Hing Rai no Papeto
- 4 medium size potatoes
- 2 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
- 3 stems curry leaves
- 1.5 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 0.5 tsp amchur powder
- 0.5 lemon
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander
- 2 green chillies
- 3 tbsp ghee
- Pinch of Asafoetida (Hing)
- Salt to taste
- Peel potatoes & cut them into medium size cubes.
- Take a non stick pan & add 2 cups of water. Bring this to a boil and add the potatoes in it.
- Once the potatoes are semi cooked (do not overcook the potatoes), strain out the water and set aside the potatoes.
- In the same pan, add some ghee and allow it to melt. Add in the mustard seeds, curry leaves, green chilies and asafoetida and wait for the seeds to start popping.
- Add in the turmeric, chilli and amchur powder along with the salt and mix well.
- Add in the potatoes and mix well.
- Cover and allow to cook on slow heat for 5 - 10 minutes until the potatoes are soft.
- Garnish with half a lemon or some chopped coriander and serve hot with roti.
This post is part of my ongoing series on the blog, the A to Z of Parsi Food which has been curated in collaboration with Parsi food enthusiasts globally. For more interesting recipes follow the hashtag #AtoZChallenge mentioned below.