Friday, 6 January 2012




     1)    Potatoes – 1 kg.
     2)    Dry hot red chilies – 8 Nos.
     3)    Mustard seeds – ½ teaspoon
     4)    Coconut oil – 1½ tablespoons
     5)    Powdered salt – 1 teaspoon

To Cook:

          Peel the potatoes. Wash them well, drain and cut into rough juliennes (long rectangular pieces of around 5mm. x 5 mm. thickness). Break each red chili into 2 or 3 pieces.

          Set a thick cast iron wok on high heat. Pour in the coconut oil and tip in the mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds are about to finish spluttering, throw in the broken chilies. Stir once and put in the potato juliennes. Sprinkle the salt. Stir nicely and let the salt mix well with the potatoes. Use a thin flat lightweight ladle of stainless steel to stir the upkari.

          Lower the heat to minimum and cover with a lid. Every 3 minutes, open the lid and stir with a light hand so as to turn over the juliennes without breaking them. Take care not to burn the potatoes at the base.  Once the potatoes are cooked (it takes around 20 minutes) they will start breaking easily when pressed with the ladle. Taste and add more salt if required.

          It is time to set aside the lid and to let the upkari roast slowly. Stir every 3 to 4 minutes till most of the potato juliennes turn golden brown. This may take around an hour or so. Serve hot either by itself or with rice, gruel, cherupayar kanji or with porridge.

          Bototya bhajjilé upkari is so delicious that once you eat it, you will want to have it every day of your life. Perhaps two of the tastiest as well as simplest dishes in Konkani cuisine are bototya kachri (see my recipe) and bototya bhajjilé upkari. Do cook and enjoy!!!

     1)    Kids who are poor eaters can be fed a plateful of porridge or any rice dish easily and happily if you have bototya bhajjilé upkari as the side dish.

     2)    Those who are not allowed to have much oil or fat in their diet can easily prepare this dish in a non-stick wok with very little oil.

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