Sookha Alu Sabzi, Take 2

You could think of this as a red version of the other sookha (dry) style alu sabzi I posted a recipe for earlier this year. It adds tomatoes and there’s some more plus/minus with spices—the end result is as tasty as the other but quite different in flavour. As with any dry style preparation of potatoes you have to be careful not to let things scorch but a little bit of caramelization on the potatoes at the bottom of the pan is a good thing. Stainless steel is very good for these kinds of dishes—though if you have a cast iron pan that is seasoned strongly enough to withstand the tomato then that might be even better. I like to serve this simply, ungarnished, with chapatis or parathas with some pickle and a bowl of dal on the side but it’s very tasty no matter how you eat it.


  • 2 lbs potatoes, cut into long, thick wedges
  • 1 tspn zeera/cumin seeds
  • 1 cup onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tblspn fresh garlic paste
  • The following ground together into a fine powder: 2 tspns coriander seeds, 1 tspn mustard seeds, 1/2 tspn methi/fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tspn haldi/turmeric powder
  • 1 tspn red chilli powder
  • 3/4 cup diced tomato
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt
  • 3 tblspns mustard oil (or oil of choice)


  1. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large pan till just smoking (if mustard oil) or till shimmering (any other oil) and add the zeera.
  2. When the zeera splits (it’ll happen very soon) add the onions and saute over medium heat until golden brown.
  3. Add the crushed garlic and saute till the raw aroma is gone.
  4. Add all the powdered spices, mix and saute for a minute.
  5. Add the potatoes, mix in thoroughly and stir-fry for 5-7 minutes over medium heat.
  6. Add the tomatoes and salt, mix in thoroughly and cook, stirring often till the tomatoes have completely cooked down.
  7. Add the sugar and the water, mix in, cover the pan and cook over medium-low heat till the potatoes are just done and the “gravy” is dried and clinging to the potatoes.
  8. Serve with parathas/chapatis or rice with dal.


  1. If you insist you could sprinkle a bit of garam masala over at the end and/or garnish with some chopped cilantro or green onions (my preference) or chives. Personally, I think it’s best unadorned.
  2. If you have small potatoes, whether round or fingerlings, they’d work very well here, cooked whole.
  3. Speaking of potatoes: shout-out to my community garden neighbour, Todd, whose potatoes went into this. Don’t worry: he knows they did (and I still have quite a lot left of the large stash he gave me from his bountiful harvest, including some fingerlings).

3 thoughts on “Sookha Alu Sabzi, Take 2

  1. I tried this subzi and must say it turned out really well. The addition of the coarsely ground spices really does the trick–I don’t usually grind mustard in my spices but will do so now.


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