September 26, 2010

Gujarati Potatoes and Spring Onions Sautéed in Chickpea Flour




Fresh flavoured, dry curries are done so well by Gujaratis. It’s all about taking simple ingredients and packing in as much flavour as possible.

From thalis (3 course meal plates), to dhokras (steamed savoury cakes) and mistan (Indian sweets), the simplicity and variety of Gujarati cuisine is a huge attraction for vegetarians.

Around three-quarters of the population of Gujarat are vegetarian for an assortment of reasons. Among religious, economical and health reasons, many Gujarati’s believe that the abundance of nuts, beans and leafy greens available in their region neutralises the need to eat meat. Having said this, Gujarati food is simple, family cooking which can coax the most radical meat-eaters into enjoying a vegetarian meal.

This dish is just one of those typical Gujarati specialities which can be adapted according to what produce is in season and available at the time. Chickpea flour curries are great with okra, fresh fenugreek leaves and even whole chilli peppers! That is if you’re feeling brave enough. Why not check out my recipe for Turnip and Spring Onion Curry?

Dry roasting the chickpea flour on a skillet brings out a wonderfully aromatic nutty flavour and clings to the vegetables brilliantly. You could also try this with leeks, capsicums, broccoli or cauliflower.

Serve with hot, buttered chapattis and sizzlingly hot garlic chutney. Conveniently, this recipe will be the subject of KO Rasoi’s next post. I do spoil you, don’t I?

Potatoes and Spring Onions Sautéed in Chickpea Flour

5 cups spring onions (scallions), chopped in -inch pieces including the green part
1 ½ cups new potatoes, quartered
2 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp garlic, minced
2 hot green chillies, minced
1 ½ cups passata (sieved tomatoes). You could also use fresh or canned chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp lime juice
¼ cup sunflower oil (wholly necessary) + 1 tbsp sunflower oil
¼ tsp asafoetida
½ tsp turmeric
1 cup chickpea flour
2 tsp cumin seed powder
2 tsp coriander seed powder
¼ tsp baking powder
Salt to taste

1. Heat a large non stick skillet. Combine the chickpea flour, cumin seed powder, coriander seed powder and turmeric. It would be a good idea to add a pinch or two of salt to this.

2. Heat ¼ cup sunflower oil while you do step 3. Don’t take your eye off of it.

3. Dry roast the mixture, moving all of the time until it becomes a pinkish, nutty colour. Remove from the heat, add the baking powder and ¼ cup hot sunflower oil. It will spit and sizzle so be careful. Stir this until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs and set aside.

4. Boil the new potatoes in plenty of salted boiling water until tender (I added an extra pinch of turmeric to these to give them a pretty colour). Drain and set aside.

5. In a large wok, heat 1 tbsp oil and add the garlic, ginger, chillies, asafoetida and spring onions. Stir fry on a medium heat for a minute, then add the tomatoes. Cook this for 2-3 minutes on a high heat.

6. Add the tender new potatoes and sprinkle over the chickpea flour mixture. Combine thoroughly and stir carefully on a high heat for a further 2 minutes, taking care not to break the potatoes.

7. Finish with a spritz of lime juice and season with a little bit of salt and pepper if you wish.

Did you make this?

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21 responses to “Gujarati Potatoes and Spring Onions Sautéed in Chickpea Flour”

  1. penny aka jeroxie says:

    Have to try this… looks so beautiful. And the spices are punchy

  2. Ushnish Ghosh says:

    Dear Sanjana
    Thanks for this sunday treat, I mean reading this post.
    The Gujarati vege food are also a huge attraction for a hardcore non-vege like me too…simply because all vege dishes are specialties and delicacies for me and non vege dishes are staple food.(yuk…)
    This recipe is very new for me..My wife sometimes cook capsicum with chick pea flour, but I am sure she has some other method. I am going to surprise her , one of these days, with your recipe and claim it is my invention..ha ha
    Also I learnt from here , roasting the besan Hummm…that fried besan fragrance of a fried pakoda.
    Is it OK, If I cook with ground nut oil? Very few Gujarati dishes that I know, I cook with groundnut oil. This I learnt many decades back when sunflower oil was not there in India..
    I am going to make it soon…I have all the ingredients handy…
    Few of the many reasons, why I eagerly wait for your blog are 1. your writing style is very informative and can capture the reader to go through each word 2. Your recipes are "healthy food" and not those unscientific " health food " which has become the fashion of the day.
    I am going to try this and will use 1/4th cup of oil and not 1 tea spoon ( Huh!! to make it health food !!!), because I know the potato will give me more fat and not the fraction of the 1/4th cup of oil which will be my share..!!!!
    I am sure you are doing very well with your internship and all.
    Have an exciting week ahead…

    PS…turnips are still soon as they come up in Nov I will cook them as per your recipe + a kashmiri turnip dish absolutely vege–( i.e. devoid of Garlic onion like most traditional Kashmiri dishes) for you and all vege friends including few Jains

  3. notyet100 says:

    wow this looks so delicious

  4. saint bapu says:

    wah sanju wah!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Srimathi says:

    Looks delicious. I started enjoying guji food because my beast friend was guji. These potatoes look good. Must book mark it.

  6. Trix says:

    Oh Sanjana, this is absolutely droolworthy. I have chickpea flour but I've never made a dry curry with it – how brilliant! Must do this – and soon.

  7. Ms. Humble says:

    I've never had a veg dry curry before. Looks delicious!

  8. Latha says:

    Lovely potato curry.

  9. Pushpa says:

    Beautiful clicks….lovely potatoes dish

    Pushpa @

  10. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets says:

    Yes, Gujarati food does have so much delicious flavor in my experience. This dish looks too tasty, Sanjana :).

  11. Jhonny walker says:

    God Sanjana…I love your recipes. This one is winner right away!!I will making these for sure. But today it seems blogdom is bursting with taste and flavors. What a monday 🙂

  12. Kaj says:

    I simply love your recipes, truly an inspiration, I have tried the brownie recipe, does it rise much ? I baked it in an electric oven … and is it really 5 cups spring onions ?

  13. artipatel88 says:

    Mmmmmh Yummy!

  14. Sanjana says:

    Thanks for the great comments everyone! I hope you enjoy this.

    Ushnish- I'm sure your wife will love it- and do claim it was your invention… The surprise would be great to see! Of course you can use ground nut oil. Any oil with a high smoking point and not too much flavour would work well. I wouldn't reccomend using olive oil to anyone as it will intefere with flavours.

    Kaj- Hi there, yes the brownie recipe should rise- I use an electric oven to bake mine too. A couple of things I would suggest:

    1. Always sift the flour.

    2. Never overbeat the mixture. Gently fold the ingredients together. Overbeating works the gluten in cake batter and prevents it from being light and rising properly. It also removes all of the air bubbles the baking powder and soda create.

    3. Make sure the oven temperature is niether to high or too low.

    4. Don't open the oven door for the first 15 minutes of baking. This will make the cake sink.

    5. Cook it until a a toothpick inserted all the way through the cake comes out clean.

    Hope these help and that your brownies rise next time.

  15. Mr. P says:

    Just as I had wondered what I was going to make for dinner with the potatoes I have left from yesterday…

  16. Anonymous says:


    The 5 cups of spring onions….? Surely not this many

  17. Sanjana says:

    Anonymous- 5 cups of spring onions isn't a typo, my recipe actually calls for 5 cups spring onions. I had to explain this to some of my Facebook fans too. Just as spinach and leafy greens wilt down, so do spring onions. The 5 cups will when cooked, reduce to perhaps 1.5-2 cups which is equal to the amount of potatoes used in the recipe. So 5 cups spring onions is correct.

  18. meeso says:

    That looks wonderful so I bookmarked 🙂

  19. Anonymous says:

    Hi there,
    I tried this recipe today, and although it tasted alright according to my flatmate, it didn't look like it does on your picture. Mainly, because I think I used tomatoe passata; do you really recommend using one and a half cups of that? Mine got really red. And subsequently, the chickpea flour soaked up all the tomato purée instead of coating the potatoes…. Anything I did wrong?

  20. Sanjana says:

    Thanks meeso!

    Hi Anonymous- Did you use passata or tomato puree? As with all tomato passatas, the consistency varies across all brands. However, regardless of this your dish shouldn't have looked the way you described it. Did you boil it for 2 to 3 minutes on a high heat? This rapid boiling is intended to evaporate some of that liquid from the passata and concentrate the flavours, but not make it red. I'm so sorry you experienced this. Perhaps if you want to give it another go then boil your passata for a little longer or on a higher heat as the quantity here is correct and exactly how much I had used to make the dish photographed here. Thanks for taking the time to write up some feedback and post your queries. If you have any more then feel free to get in touch again. Best wishes, Sanjana.

  21. Kathy Gori says:

    This looks wonderful! Just cooked spring onions and potatoes w/ mushrooms yesterday for lunch. Must try this!

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