November 5, 2007


Gingery Banarasi Aloo is my contribution to Sunita from "Sunita's World" blog's "Think Spice..Think.." event.This month's spice is "Ginger". To learn more about ginger click here and my other dish for JFI I made last year, "Ginger Rissoles" is here! Thanks for hosting Sunita!:)

Banaras or Benares, is one of the ancient cities of India. They have their own unique flavorful side dishes which are very simple, mostly served with Poories which are deep fried bread. The city is best known for it's large assortment sweets! They say that Banaras was famous for serving more than 17 kinds of sweets in a single wedding and "Chhppan Bhog" (ie a meal consists of 56 items!) was prepared as an offering for Lord Krishna on the Annakut day!! (These infos are from a book called "Banaras Ki Rasoi")

Banarasi Aloo:
This Potato side dish is one of the Banaras delicacies, with few ingredients but tasty. I think what makes this dish Banarasi is the addition of flavorful Fennel seeds and ginger, I am not sure. Never been to Banaras!:)

You need these:

2 large red waxy potatoes, peeled and cubed into big chunks,2 large red Tomatoes ground to paste, 1" ginger ground or minced, 2 tsp ground Fennel seeds (Saunf),1/2 tsp or more Cayenne powder, 1/4 tsp Turmeric, 1 tsp Garam masala, 1tsp Coriander pd, 1/2 tsp cumin pd, 1 tsp Tamarind juice or Amchoor (both Optional),salt, 3 tbsp Cream or half and half, minced Cilantro to garnish.
To season: 1 tbsp mustard oil or any kind of oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds, pinch of hing(Asafoetida).

To make Banarasi Aloo:

1. Heat oil in a wide non-stick pan and add hing and mustard seeds. When they sputter, add cubed Potatoes, stir fry until they reddish and half cooked. Add ground ginger, stir for a minute.
2. Add tomatoes, all the spices with tamarind or Amchoor if you are using, stir for a while until you see the gravy leaving the sides of the pan.
3. Add 1/2 cup water, cover and let it cook. Sauce should thicken and coated to Potatoes when it's done.
4. Adjust the seasoning to your taste. Take off the heat and add cream and cilantro.

With Naan:

With Paratha:

Banarasi Aloo is traditionally served with Poories but I had Naan and Parathas to serve with!! Enjoy!:)


A new event called " "Power" less cooking" has been launched by Easy Crafts of "An easy cooking blog" this month. The theme is all about cooking without any "Power" ie electricity or without using electrical devices!! Thanks for hosting EC!:))
My contribution to this event are Indian style Gazpacho and a refreshing beverage of tangy, sweet, and Gingery Sherbet/Panaka!

"Power" less cooking!
This theme stumped me for a while.I am so dependent on my electrical gadgets! Cooking without using any electricity at all, I couldn't think of any dishes other than salads to make without Power. I definitely looking forward to all the entries EC gets, so I will have an idea when I need it.
I remember the one and only time we had lost electricity for 6 days during a Winter Ice storm 2 yrs ago in NC. But we did survive that on the BBQ gas stove we had and frozen food from the grocery store, although we froze almost to death cooking outside!:D
Anyway, here they are. I had made Spanish Gazpacho few month's ago and this time I made Gazpacho with Indian spices and a beverage to go with it. Both don't need any cooking at all! Have fun!:)

Gazpacho with Indian spices and ginger Sherbet!

Gazpacho, Indian style:
Until last week, I used to get a few beautiful red vine ripe Plum, Cherry and Pear tomatoes from my plants which I have used here in this dish. Now, of course they all died after a first Spring frost, giving me loads of green Tomatoes to cook!:)

1. Chop 4-6 Tomatoes into small cubes or any kind of tomatoes you have, put it in a big bowl.
2. Cube peeled and cubed Cucumber, 1 Green Pepper, 1 Jalapeno, 1 Garlic, 1/2 red Onion or sweet Videlia, few cilantro, salt, 1 tsp cumin pd, 1/2 tsp Chaat pd, coarsely ground pepper, 1 tsp lemon juice, add to the bowl.
3. Mix everything gently, cover and leave it on the counter top for atleast an hour.
4. Mix again, serve in a bowl topped with store bought Croutons if you have it in hand.I forgot to add in the photo!!
5. Serve this delicious Gazpacho with refreshing Panaka or Sherbet or Sharbattu as we say in K'taka!:)

Sweet, tangy and gingery Panaka:
A refreshing beverage of Panaka can be made without using any electrical devices! Oops! I added Ice cubes!;P
(Hey, you do get Ice cubes at the grocery store even when you don't have power at home you know! Haha!!)

1. Crush 4 tbsp of Jaggery or Brown sugar, 1/2 tsp Cardamom seeds, a slice or two of fresh ginger by hand in 1/2 cup water until you get a smooth paste.
2. Add 2 1/2 cups of water, 2 to 3 tsp of lemon juice to the crushed ingredients, mix well. Strain all this with a strainer to take out all the solids. Adjust the sweet and spice according to your taste.
3. Serve in tall glasses with a slice of lemon and a slice of ginger. Ice Cubes are optional!!;D

Happy Deepavali to all you. Enjoy the festival of lights!!

Have fun!:))


EC said...

Super entry...thanks a lot...u r the first one to send the post for the event...thanks again...This being my first event, i am on the seventh heaven seeing the first entry, that too from a person who never fails to appreciate every post of mine.

TBC said...

Happy Diwali, Asha. :-)
The Banarasi aloo looks yum. Your "powerless" lunch is good. If we didn't have power, we would just have to go out wherever there was power, and eat. Besides we have an electric cooking range.

That was what we did during the terrible snowstorm we had in Buffalo in oct 2006.

Siri said...

Dear Ashaji, Ur entries are always to die for and they are so unique..:)
I woke just couple of mins back.. and after seeing ur banarasi aloo, I feel like running into the kitchen and have sumthing.. thats so unfair on ur part to tempt me like this .. hehehe... Both the entries were superb..

Siri said...

Advanced Diwali Wishes to u and ur family Ashaji..:D

Finla said...

Tha aloo dish looks delicious.
And the colour of the dish is so nice. I have not made any indian vegetarian food lately, after seeing all these dishes i have to make them soon.

FH said...

You are welcome EC!:))
I was afraid I can't think of any dish for you, glad you kiked them. Can't wait to see the round up! Enjoy your first evenyt hosting!:))

Tbc, we had 6 days of darkness without any electricity here 2 yrs ago, lost all the frozen and fridge full of food ,it was horrible!
We managed to eat a few meals out but even most fast food chains were closed! I keep a spare gas stove now just in case!:D

FH said...

Thank you Siri. I liked the Aloo too, simple but delicious. Fennel seeds gives it a sweet smell! Try it!:))
Happy Diwali to you too, I am making a post for Wednesday as we speak!:))

Hi F, good to see you girl!:))
This dish is easy. Got Potatoes in it,so Sha might like it with some crusty rolls!
I cooked for Diwali last weekend, got type in still which is the hardest for me than cooking! Hahaha! Enjoy.
Diwali is very lonely here, just cook and use a few firecrackers. It's fun in NY etc where there are little Indias!:))

Laavanya said...

That was super fast Asha... and what lovely entries may I add. The aloo looks too good and the parathas are perfect. I am drooling over the ginger sherbet.

Sending warm Diwali wishes to you and your family.

bee said...

i am so making that ginger drink today. love the whole concept.

Latha said...

Cool post Ash! Banarasi aloo looks delicious! I've been to banaras eons back but dont remember much about my trip there!
The gazpacho looks yummy! And the ginger drink looks very refreshing~ Very nice concept of powerless cooking!

Richa said...

hey, loved the ginger sherbet, adding jaggery wowieeeeee, sounds awesome :) that is one cool drink!

sunita said...

Asha,thanks yet again for your lovely entry. love those 'powerless' recipes as well.

FH said...

Laavanya, thank you!:))
I had some time on Sunday, thought I would make quick ones for us and the events. Aloo was tasty, always great with Parathas. Happy Diwali to you too!:))

Bee, I have too much Jaggery waiting for me to use up in the pantry. I come up with something to use them quickly! HeHe!!
Ginger in the beverage tastes great, gives it a little heat too. Enjoy!:))

Rina said...

Ashaji, enjoyed reading all your dishes. Thx for the Ginger aloo recipe. Should give it a try.

FH said...

Latha, I think Banaras and Varanasi are the same city, right? I am not sure. Next time we visit India, planning to visit Varanasi Temple. Aloo tastes great though.
"Power" less cooking round up will be helpful to all of us, you never know when the Ice storm hits here again!:D

Richa, that was a great drink but I forgot that I am cooking for "Power" less and added few ice Cubes!!Haha!

FH said...

You are welcome Sunita. Always a pleasure to cook for events, makes me think for a change!;D

Rina, thanks girl. Hope you try. It's easy and aloo dishes are great to have anytime!:))

Sagari said...

aloo curry looks delecious

musical said...

Ashakka, Annakut khana is always such a pleasure! The aloo sabzi looks really yummy! I have the electric stove too!! and i sometimes wonder what would it be like to not have electricity! Glad you had the bbq stove :).

It must ahve been so hard in cold weather to be without power, Ashakka! How did you manage!
TBC mentioned the storm in Buffalo, my friend was there then, i think they were out of power for about a week or more! in winters, that must have been torture.

And the ginger drink looks good too :).


Pdk said...

Happy Diwali , Asha... i loved the post.. followed the link for parathas and u know what, they looked just like the ones i enjoyed in a Pakistani restaurant recently... Going to give it a try... Thanks... Have a great Diwali...

FH said...

Thank you Sagari, do try the aloo girl! Happy Diwali!:))

Musie, after 6 days of darkness and cold, we never will be without gas stove now. Even the fast food chains were closed here. It was a shock to us, but we enjoyed the wood fireplace and experimenting with "power" less cooking!;D
You have been to Annakut celebration? 53 items to eat!! WOW!! I would love to taste a tbsp of each of those!
Happy Diwali sweetheart, enjoy there. Cold or not, got to have fun!:))

FH said...

Hi Priya D, so good to see you. I thought you were off blogging totally!:))
Yeah, these parathas are really layered and so soft. I use No-stick oil spray between the layers which makes it so fluffy. Make it, it's not hard at all. Enjoy!:))

Prema Sundar said...

Wish u a very happy diwali to u and ur Family Asha.
Powerless lunch is interesting. love aloos anytime and Iam sure it would taste great with naans and parathas too.nice entry for the event.

Unknown said...

This dish looks delicious and pretty easy! Nice work!

FH said...

Prema, aloos are so versatile, even if you mess up, it tastes great anyway!:)
Happy Diwali to you too, got to start cooking!

Hi Erin, thank you. Yes, it's very simple dish with few ingredients, makes a great side dish with some crusty rolls! Enjoy!:)

Latha said...

Yeah Varanasi and Banaras are the same! Hey u know what - i was telling my friend here about u. Her husband just moved to Raleigh and she is thinking about it too, but she is nervous about it! I told her it beats Omaha for sure. Told her all about u and u're life there :-) Even told her about Arvind's "Vaidya" and your "Kaveri" number plates :-)

Priyanka said...

The banarasi aloo are mouthwatering Asha.

Ramya's Mane Adige said...

Ashakka, Wish you a happy Deepavali too!!! I just loved ur Banarasi aloo... It looks quite ez to make too. thanx for the recipe! :)

Kribha said...

Happy Diwali to you and your family Asha. :-) Hope you have lots of fun.
Banarasi looks so good and so is Gazpacho. Beautiful presentations and unique recipes for the event. Power-less cooking sounds intresting. I'll see what I can do. Take care and be safe if you are bursting crakers.

Red Chillies said...

Happy Diwali to you and your family Asha. Loved your aloo recipe and hmmm, I did not know panaka was made with ginger, I thought it had pepper. This is a new and healthy twist, gotta try!

Srivalli said... simply rock..the special care you take to cook for every event is just too heart warming...thanks for your efforts!...the dishes look so great..I have been breaking my head to think of something..that does not require power..will have to think soon!..

Raaga said...

wow... the aloo looks beautiful as do your other items. :-)

Happy Deepavali. We're off to my parents' place :-) 3 days of good food and lots of fun.

sra said...

Hey, you're cooking for all these events, better cook for mine too, whenever it appears! :) I even saw you suggest an event, somewhere, hah! Happy Diwali, Asha!

Anh said...

Asha, happy diwali! I am so impressed with your dishes as usual!

Anonymous said...

Loved all the entries. Well Panaka is my fav..;P so favoritsim..I like sharabattu.

Viji said...

A nice gingery post Asha. Very nice. Happy Diwali. Viji

amna said...

the aloo looks amazing. how do you get that color?

and i love the idea of powerless cooking. let me see what i can send :)

Roopa said...

wow Asha the banarasi Aloo looks yum :) shoonti kanka thumba geernakari alva. for festives it is a must.
happpy deepavali to you too !

Raks said...

Haapy diwali Asha amd potato bansari and ginger pannakam looks superb:))
Convey my wishes to your family too!!

Rajitha said...

yum..the banarasi aloo looks mouth was watering when it was plated on the nan and parantha...and power-less cooking...what a great idea.. we have an electric range and i do know some cool dishes that my mom and me invented during our power-less spell for a day and a half in 2003 in mi and toronto..ny..

Susan from Food Blogga said...

This sounds fabulous, Asha! I'm so making this dish since I adore bananas. You know, last week my husband and I went to a wonderful Indian restaurant and had bananas in a spicy coconut curry sauce. Do you know what the name of it might be/if it's a traditional dish you might know about? I'd love the recipe for that too! I told you I love bananas. :) Of course, this could be the same recipe, couldn't it? :)

FH said...

Latha, Raleigh is a great city.There are lot of Indians there with many Indian restaurants and stores nearby.We go there once in 3 mnts for shopping. She will love it!:))
Yeah, weather is wayyy better than Omaha for sure!:D

Thank you Priyanka, hope you try!:))

FH said...

Happy Diwali to you too Ramya. Yeah, this is simple, Aloos are always great side dish for everything!:))

Kribha, you too have fun on Friday.We just have some noiseless firecrackers, noise making ones are illegal here except on July 4th!:)

FH said...

Red chillies, you can add pepper too. Since ginger has some heat, I skipped the pepper pd. It's just like Majjige we make except you don't use Buttermilk! Enjoy on Friday:))

Sri, "power" less dish was hard for me too. But she says we can gas stove, so next time I will use gas!:D

Latha Narasimhan said...

I got to know about these events now!:D I'll surely send something for both events!
I am totally confused which recipe I should select to cook from your blog! I think i'll cook some stuffed bun!
Happy Diwali to you and your family!:)

FH said...

Raaga, have a great time there girl.Must be your Diwali after marriage, right? Have fun, eat a lot of mom's food! Hugs!:))

LOL! Sra, of course I will cook for you, will wait for the details and get some arm exercise done to get ready to grind spices!!;D
I really want to cook International cuisine, one country at a time!! Hope somebody will launch that too!:)

FH said...

Anh, thank you. Simple dishes are the best!:))

Lakshmi, I love Sharbattu. My grandparents used to make a big quantity every Summer to cool us down!:))

Thanks Viji. Love the ginger flavored dishes, always gives nice heat to the dishes. Enjoy the Deepavali!:)

FH said...

Nags, I have Paprika which gives red color but not lot of heat. Red plum tomatoes helps too!:))

Roopa, nija!! Shunti is a digestive. Whenever my Thatha got stomach upset, he would drink this without sugar added!:))
Happy Deepavali to you, enjoy.

We will Raks, thank you. I am making a bit less goodies for this Diwali since I cooked so much for Dasara. You too enjoy Diwali!:))

FH said...

Rajitha, after 6 days of no power, we learnt our lesson and bought a gas stove for emergencies!:D
Looking forward all the recipes, might come to use those too, you never know in Winter!:))

Susan, Banaras is a city, this dish is made of Potatoes from that city. Raw Banana or plantains are used for cooking purposes. I made a whole post with Bananas and Plantains at Foodies hope,check it out. Yes, plantain curry with coconut paste is in there too along with ripe Banana salad. Enjoy!:))

Daily Meals said...

Hi Asha! Happy Diwali. Banarasi aloo and ginger panaka look delicious. Nice entries...

FH said...

Latha, more events are coming your way, sra is planning one too!:))
Buns are easy, start with that. I have to Trisha again for another appointment at 10, not even opened blog roll except your's and Sona's. Will come back and go thru' with it!:))
When do you leave for Simla? Packed already? Wish I could tag along with you!:D

Sia said...

from spooky music to romantic number hah??? ;)
well, what can i say abt ur banarasi aloo. they look gorgeous and no onion too! guess i will cook this by the end of this month as we r busy clearing our fridge and only thing i will have handy is potatoes for sure:)
ginger paanaka rocks! after heavy festive meals its a right drink to have:) any plans for diwali ashakka? i am freaking out here thinking what to cook! may be i shouldn't ebter the kitchen only;)

FH said...

Hi Sups. Halloween is over, now back to Jazz!:D
Yeah, this aloo is easy to fix after a tiring day. Tomorrows post will be for Diwali at FH, got to send it to Vee before the deadline, so made a sample thali!:)
Oh, you guys can go out abd have great dinner somewhere, no need to cook. I cook a few dishes, that's all.No big deal!:))
Enjoy your Deepavali,see you tomorrow. Getting ready for India, huh? You must be so happy!:))

Shivapriya said...

I always forget to check ur Aroma... I should add it to my blog roll. EVery thing (veggie) is delicious.
Happy Diwali to you and your family Asha.

Chickoo said...

Nimmellarigu deepavali habbada hardhika shubhashayagalu!!
Nimma recipes sakathagive, I will try banarasi aloo tomorrow.


Deepak Gopi said...

Happy Diwali 2 u & family.

Anonymous said...

Hey Asha,

u lost electricity for 6 whole days!!!!!!!!
OMG, with a fridge like that (saw ur fridge in the meme) full of things and no current...
tell me honestly, did u throw the fridge itself out after 5 days??
hey, just kidding;)
btw, potato looks so sexy in that recipe. will try out soon and let u know.



Latha Narasimhan said...


Lakshmi has gone to shimla not me!

FH said...

Thank you Shivapriya. You too have a great Deepavali, bless you and your family!:))

Chickoo, neevellaroo habba enjoy maadi. Naanu jaasti enu madta illa. Ivattu post madteeni FHnalli. Check out later!:))

FH said...

Sam, for the time after I left India, we had go thru' "no power" for 6 days. Believe me, it was horrible! We did throw 90% of the stuff in the fridge and freezer on the 7th day!:D
Enjoy the Aloo, great with Paratha. Happy Deepavali to you and family!:))

Latha, I thought Ice Cream cake was posted by you and you are going to Simla. Very confusing for me!!Hahaha!!Tell L I wished her safe journey:)
It's still Wednesday today.Deepavali is on Friday. I am making very few dishes,will post at FH later today. Dasara took all my recipes, don't know what to make anymore!:D
Arvind is his name.Thanks. You guys enjoy Deepavali. Noise making Patakis are not allowed here, so just some Sursurbatti etc for kids.LOL!

Pooja Na(i)rayan said...

Happy Divali

Seema said...

Banarasi aloo - Name & dish both are so appealing to the eyes, sure it tasted great too...Your family sure is having a fest with your cooking everyday!!
Happy Diwali Asha.

Latha Narasimhan said...

Asha dear Icecream cake is my recipe! :D lakshmi has not yet learnt to make these burfis! You see with so many bloggers it is so confusing! Now I am wishing all bloggers Happy diwali and don't remember who I already visited and whom I did not!:D

FH said...

Thank you Mocha! Check out my Diwali post at FH. Enjoy!:))

Seema, got to cook something everyday. They enjoy it most of the time!:D
Try this dish, easy and goes well with Parathas!:))

Latha, just wish when you see their post. You can't go to every blog anyway. When they come to your blog, they will get their greetings too!
Looks like L is used to EAT all your goodies but not learnt to make it!:D Make her learn. All these young girls are into dieting these days.Sometimes, it's good to eat good food once in a while with ghee and all!;D
That's why she has planned to run away to Simla, so she doesn't have eat too much sweets!:P

Swati said...

Happy Diwali Asha...
The aloo looks delicious....

FH said...

Thank you new visitor. Hope you try. Happy Diwali to you!:))

Anonymous said...

everything looks good,asha ,especially the benarasi aloo with so few ingredients.

krystyna said...

Hi Asha!
Thank you for your amazing recipes.

Happy Divali to you and your family!

FH said...

I know Paati, so unusual for me to use few ingredients!!;D
Sometimes, simple recipes are the best. Enjoy!:))

Thank you K, you too have a great time. Diwali is such fun holiday, isn't it? Enjoy:))

KellytheCulinarian said...

Thanks for the heads up on Diwali! This dish looks tasty too.

FH said...

Thank you kelly. As you can see EVERY INDIAN BLOG is on fire with Diwali lamps!;D

AnuSriram said...

Happy Diwali asha!
Your powerless entry is so attractive... Banarasi aloo looks fantastic! Hmmmm.... Thanks for the tip!

FH said...

Thank you Anu. You too have a great Diwali sweetie!:))
Check out Foodie's hope for more recipes when you can!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I always have ginger on hand because it's such a quick and easy way to add flavor and brightness to so many dishes. Your recipes sounds fabulous!

Kajal said...

Everyone love Aloo when see your aloo dish my dear..........without any question I say this is very delicious taste with ginger. Banarasi Aloo is rocking. WOW. ginger sorbet ahhhhhhhhh....with gazpacho with Indian spices thanks for sharing.:)))

FH said...

Susan, ginger is a part of our everyday life in India for us. Ginger has natural digestive component and our ancestors always used it for medicinal purposes too. Use it, it's good for you!:))

Kajal, thank you. Ginger always makes any dish tasty, doesn't it? Enjoy. Have a great Diwali today. Hugs to you!:))

Anonymous said...

Great entries asha. Of all I liked panaka, cool and refreshing right!!

Happy deepavali to you too.

Deepak Gopi said...

:) Good day
Enjoy a nice week end

FH said...

Hima, thanks girl. Yesterday was fun!:))
Panaka is good for you too with ginger in it. Enjoy the weekend.

Hello Deepak, we enjoyed Deepavali. Enjoy your weekend too!:)

Linda said...

Very clever powerless cooking -- I love gazpacho with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt on top too :)

Banasari aloo looks great, esp on that crispy-edged naan!

FH said...

Thanks Linda. I have realized how much we are all dependent on "Power" now!:D
It's pretty hard to come with dishes when we can't use electricity except may be plenty of cold salads!:))

SeeC said...

6 DAYS without power...that should have been terrible during winter.

Panaka looks refreshing.

Liked your banarasi aloo too...
You are always perfect asha. (posting, participating in events, commenting...everything)
Really admire it.

Sona - quick picks/pick quicks said...

lovely Asjajee, u have an answer to anything and everything, was just catching up on ur recent posts..

Smitha said...

Hi ,

Tried it and Loved the Banarasi Aloo....
Can you direct me to the cookbook "banaras ki Rasoi" .... and where I can get it...

FH said...

Hi Smitha, we were on vacation, sorry I couldn't reply to you earlier.

I usually buy Indian cookbooks from "India club" online book store, they have a great collection. Don't know whether they still have this book, try emailing them! :))

FH said...

Perfection is not me SeeC, but thank you! :))
Yeah, for 6 days it was a nightmare. Even fire logs were out of stock! Can you imagine? :D

Hi KR, how are you? I bet enjoying the baby now! :))
Enjoy, take care.

Hi Smitha, we were on vacation, sorry I couldn't reply to you earlier.
I usually buy Indian cookbooks from "India club" online book store, they have a great collection. Don't know whether they still have this book, try emailing them! :))