One of the best things about growing up in a multi-racial country is the amount of different dishes you’re exposed to. Not just that we share in everyone’s culture (like around religious holidays etc) we also experiment with each others food. This resulted in dishes that are uniquely Trinbagonian as we’ve added our own touch (even KFC). Take fry aloo for instance. I’ve come across many “Indian” food blogs where the name of the dish is the same but the preparation and ingredients somewhat differs.
Even locally I seen recipes differ a bit, with people adding their own signature touch to enhance the final product. Personally I love me some fry aloo, but with left over corned beef (still have to post that recipe for you) added at the end.
This is the recipe for the traditional “Trini” way of making fry aloo and it just happens to be the way our daughters like it.
5 medium potatoes (I like using Yukon Gold)
1/2 onion sliced
3 cloves garlic (crushed)
dash black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
5-6 table spoons vegetable oil (olive oil works great – adds a nice flavour)
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper (or any pepper you like using) * Optional but really completes the dish)
Start by peeling the potatoes, then wash and slice (not too thick – cut down the center and then slice about 1/8 to 1/4 inch). Also peel and crush the garlic, slice the onion and pepper .. set aside.
In a heavy pot, add the oil and allow to heat on medium to high heat. As the oil heats up add the onion, garlic and pepper and allow to cook for a couple minutes. We’re trying to infuse the flavours into the oil before we add the sliced potato. As the onions start going brown, drain (if you had it sitting in water as I did) the sliced potato and start adding it to the pot.
This can be a very greasy dish, so if you can use oil that’s not full of saturated fats and cholesterol, it would be best. Also note that depending on the potato you use, you may be required to add a bit more oil as it cooks.
After you’ve added the potato, turn down the heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Allow this to cook for about 20 minutes and try to stir every 5 minutes or so. You will notice a couple things as it cooks.. It will start to stick to the bottom of the pot (that’s normal) and it will start going golden brown. When stirring, try to scrape off any bits that’s stuck to the bottom of the pot. If you find that it’s to the point where it’s burning, turn down the heat to low. As mentioned cook covered for 20 minutes.
After it’s been cooking for the 20 minutes, it will start to break apart and it will change in colour. The final step is to remove the lid and cook for another 5 minutes. Check to make sure the potato is fully cooked (should be soft) and double check for salt.
So simple, yet very tasty. The best way to enjoy this fry aloo is with Sada Roti or with any type of flat bread or if all fails.. everyday sliced bread.
I’m sure many of you have a different way of preparing this dish and I’d love to hear from you.
Note: I mentioned that there’s the chance that you may need more oil. But I don’t think I mentioned how you can tell. If you find that midway through cooking it starts to stick to the bottom of the pot to the point where it’s burning and it’s overall dry.. add another tablespoon or two of oil.