Spiced Potatoes (Aloo Bhaji)


Art dealer Surajit Bomti Iyengar serves these tender potato sticks for brunch at his Calcutta apartment. The recipe is from his designer friend Devika Datt Duncan. The potatoes are cooked with panch phoron, or Bengali five-spice powder—a mix that includes fennel, cumin and mustard seeds—then tossed with turmeric.

Spiced Potatoes (Aloo Bhaji). Photo: © Marcus Nilsson
Photo: © Marcus Nilsson
Total Time:
35 mins
4 to 6


  • 1/4 cup canola oil

  • 1 teaspoon panch phoron (see Note) or 1/4 teaspoon each of fennel, cumin, fenugreek and mustard seeds

  • 2 dried red chiles

  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch matchsticks

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • Salt


  1. In a medium skillet, heat the oil. Add the panch phoron, cover and cook over high heat until the spices crackle, about 20 seconds. Add the dried chiles and cook, shaking the pan, for 20 seconds longer. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring, just until lightly browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Add the turmeric and season with salt. Cover tightly and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are cooked through and lightly browned, about 15 minutes longer. Serve immediately.


Panch phoron, or Bengali five-spice powder, is available at kalustyans.com.

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