Aloo Peyajkoli Bhaja is a classic Bengali side dish that calls for less than 5 ingredients and needs just 15 minutes of your time. It pairs best with daal and rice, or enjoy with freshly prepared roti.
What is Aloo Peyajkoli Bhaja ?
Literary translating to Potato Scallion Stir fry, this side dish is a childhood fav!
The sweetness of scallion with the creamy, comforting potatoes, is such a full proof flavor combo. The dish is so simple and easy!
Typically, this dish is prepared with Chives, which is a winter specialty back in India. My Mom would make this dish with Chives, which we refer to as Peyajkoli. But then when Chives were not available, she would use the regular tender Scallions.
What is Bhaja ?
Bhaja is a Bengali word that refers to stir fried dishes. Most Bhaja dishes would include one to two key ingredients with very minimal spices.
Here are few classic Bengali Bhaja Dishes you can try:
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Ingredients required for Aloo Peyajkoli Bhaja
Potatoes : I used new baby potatoes, only because I had a bagful at home. The new potato skins are very thin, and so I didn't bother to peel. If you are using russet potatoes, based on the variety, you can decide to peel or not.
Scallion: As I mentioned earlier, the traditional recipe uses Chives, but tender scallion works wonderful too.
Nigella seeds: This is the only spice that goes in the dish. Most Bengali dishes uses nigella seeds and if you never used this spice with potatoes, then definitely give it a go. It adds a brilliant, mildly smoky taste to the dish.
Mustard oil: Because the dish doesn't have any other spice, it is prepared in mustard oil that adds the lovely mustard aroma to the Aloo Peyajkoli Bhaja.
Variations to try!
One common ingredient that is often added in Bengali Aloo Bhaja is poppy seeds. Once potatoes are cooked through, add little poppy seeds. It will add an earthy aroma and a lovely crunch.
If you cannot find nigella seeds, you can use cumin seeds too.
This dish tastes equally good with sweet potato, but if you use sweet potato instead, then definitely add some chili powder to the dish for the mild heat to balance the sweetness.
Aloo Peyajkoli dish is a great side dish for busy days. A quick stir fry and the dish gets ready in 15 minutes. As a fun twist, you can make a sandwich with this potato stir fried along with some cheese. Or add in quesadilla. My favorite way to enjoy is definitely by pairing with daal and rice.
Aloo Peyajkoli Bhaja
- 8 small new potatoes
- 2 bunches of scallions
- 2 tablespoons mustard oil
- 1 and ½ teaspoon nigella seeds
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- Wash the potatoes and slice it into thick match stick strips.
- Ina bowl of hot water, add a little salt and soak the potato strips for 15 minutes. This will remove the excess starch from the potatoes.
- Slice the scallion into 1 inch strips.
- In a skillet on medium heat, pour the oil and let it heat up until you see smoke. Then add the nigella seeds and stir it around.
- Scatter the potatoes on the skillet and stir it around. Add salt and turmeric and stir it around.
- Cover the skillet and let it cook for 5 minutes.
- After the potatoes are cooked, add the scallions.
- Don't overcook the scallions. The ones I used were tender, and so I cooked for 3 minutes.
- Enjoy Aloo Peyajkoli Bhaja warm with rice and daal.