When I saw the “Spice of the Month” event at Sunita’s
abode, I knew I had to participate. Cumin is one of the those spices that is used almost everyday in most South Indian household, next only to mustard seeds, perhaps. It is one of those spices that is used in most cuisines of the world and not limited to any particular region. Anupama’s
In most South Indian preparations, cumin is used in combination with Black pepper. Their marriage is perfect with the delicate flavor of the two spices balancing each other so well. This combo is used in preparations like Jeera-Milagu (Cumin-BlackPepper) Rasam, Kootu (dhal stew) and Jeera-Milagu Podi [This podi (powder) is usually mixed with hot rice & ghee and eaten with vetha kozhambu], to name a few. I was initially thinking of making Jeera Rasam. But an overload of potatoes and parathas forced me to change plans and I decided to make Aloo Jeera (Potatoes sauteed with Cumin), instead.
Boil the potatoes in their skins until they are about half done. Let them completely cool, peel the skin and cut them in small cubes – roughly about 8 pieces per potato. Add oil in a non-stick tava and start sauteeing the potatoes. Ensure they are cooked evenly. Crush the red chillies (in a mortar and pestle) and add it to the potatoes.Add turmeric and salt, and mix them well together. Stir-fry the potatoes until they are done, adding the cumin seeds a few minutes before removing them from the heat.