Thursday, November 10, 2011

Shepu Batata Bhaji (Potatoes & Dill)

Dill leaves are also known as 'Shepu' in Marathi and "Suwa" in Gujrati. Dill is an unique plant in which both its leaves and seeds are used as seasoning. They have a distinct soft sweet flavor. A little Dill goes a long way in flavoring any preparation. This in turn saves us pre-preparation chopping time while cooking, which is always an added bonus!

Whenever possible, try and choose fresh dill over the dried form of the herb since it is supposed to be superior in its delicate fragrant flavor.

The recipe I have shared with you below, is one of the basic and easiest one I know. It is so warm and fragrant that you can't help falling in love with this one.

Serves: 3-4 people
Level: Easy

3 potatoes (medium sized), chopped into medium thin slices
3/4 cup dill (shepu), finely chopped
5 - 6 garlic pods, thinly sliced
6 - 8 dry red chillies, broken
8 - 10 curry leaves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
2 pinches asafoetida
1 tsp urad dal
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1.5 tblsp oil
Salt to taste

Step 1 - In a wok, heat some oil. When the oil heats up, add the garlic and saute till it slightly changes color. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and red chillies. Saute for a few seconds. Add the urad dal and let it turn light brown.

Step 2 - Add the turmeric powder and immediately add the potatoes. Saute over medium heat for a good 4 to 5 mins. Cover and let the potatoes cook.

Step 3 - When the potatoes are 50% done, add the dill leaves and saute for 3 to 4 mins. Cook covered for 8 to 10 mins. stirring occassionally till the potatoes are nicely cooked through.

Serve hot, with some nice hot chapatis.


Source: Whole foods, Organic Food Facts etc.
Do not add too much turmeric. You just need a slight yellow tinge to the potatoes.

With dill, you don't have to go plucking each strand on the stalk. Just cut off all the stems, and roughly chop everything together. Dill cooks quickly, so you are not going to taste tough stalks in your preparation anyway.

Dill leaves that are a little wilted are still good to go since they usuallly wilt very quickly. Fresh dill can be stored in the refrigerator wrapped in a damp paper towel. It can also be stored frozen whole or chopped in airtight containers.

Something about Dill:
Dill is native to Southern Russia, Western Africa and the Mediterranean region. But it is extensively grown in North America, India, North Africa and Asia.
The health benefits of Dill include good digestion, relief from insomnia, hiccups, diarrhea, dysentry, menstrual disorders, respiratory disorders etc.
It is also great for oral care.