Two Simple Subjis (Aloo Shak and Green Beans)

Before Tejas and I were married, Tejas would come over to my place every week for a home cooked dinner, generally Asian or Mexican inspired. Likewise, I would go over to his place for a home cooked Indian dinner. He would always bring up having some vegetable and I would frown and ask for dal or kidney beans or egg curry. I just didn’t get the amazing-ness of Indian vegetables. After marriage, we obviously had a lot more chances to eat home cooked meals together and that was when I found out what I was missing! The two recipes on this post are simple veggies for weekday meals.  A lot of times, we only have one veggie (shaak/subji) with roti, rice and so on, but last night I felt like making two.

Aloo Shak

These potatoes are a Gujarati recipe my mother in law taught me. It doesn’t have any onions which is common in Gujarati cooking because of the prevalence of Jainism. I used to think WHAT, a dish without onions?? But it gives it a different taste and they are yummy!

3 medium sized potatoes
2 teaspoons oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
5-7 small tomatoes

  1. Cook the potatoes until tender, peel, and cut into chunks.
  2. Puree tomatoes in a food processor.
  3. Heat oil in a medium sized sauce pan, then add mustard seeds, then add cumin seeds, and heat until the mustard seeds pop.
  4. Add tomatoes, salt and potatoes and cook until the potatoes absorb some of the sauce.

A couple of notes about this recipe:

  • You can cook the potatoes whole in a pressure cooker (~12 minutes after first whistle on medium heat), then peel, and cut them up. Or you can peel and cut them first, then boil with salt. If you boil the cut potatoes with salt, you won’t need to add as much salt later.
  • Use as many tomatoes as you like depending on how saucy you like it. I took this picture after the dish was sitting for a while, but it was saucier when we first ate it!

Green Bean Subji

The green beans are my creation, also without onions :-). I think I used amchur powder instead of garam masala last time I made them, which was good too.

1.5 pounds green beans cut into itty bitty pieces
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon tumeric
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 tomato diced
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
6-7 curry leaves
Pinch hing (asafoetida)

  1. Heat the tablespoon of oil in a fairly big sauce pan (I use 6 quart so that there is bottom surface area, but it can still steam a little).
  2. Add green beans and cook on high heat to get them started.
  3. Reduce heat to a little lower than medium and cover, stirring occasionally, until they start to get somewhat tender.
  4. Add the salt, tumeric, chili powder, garam masala, and the tomato, and cook for a few more minutes.
  5. In a tadka pan, heat the other teaspoon of oil and add the mustard seeds until they start to pop, then add the curry leaves until they crisp up a little, then add the hing.
  6. Add the tadka to the green beans, stir and cook until green beans are very tender.

A note about this recipe:

  • Tadka is the process of frying the spices in oil to get them going. Sometimes you do this in the beginning, other times you do this in a separate pan and add it later on. If you do not have a tadka pan, you can use any small pan.

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