Bagarannam w batanas and alu (fried rce with peas and potato)

This used to be a Sunday special in Domalguda. Yumm the smell of it cooking – I can still get it, different from the smell of just rice cooking (which is itself something heavenly if you have been without it for a while) – the smells of cinnamon and cardamom released by the hot oil, blending with the flavour of rice and the promise of a meal about to arrive!

1 mug of rice, washed (if washed in advance, let it sit in water until the last minute)

2 inch stick of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon shahjeera (black cumin seeds)

5 or 6 cardamom pods bashed up

5 cloves bashed up

2 green chillies, slit along the length

1 large onion, sliced in thin semi circles

1 fat clove garlic and an equiv piece of ginger, finely chopped (or g&g paste if easier)

1 large or 2 small potatoes, diced into ½ inch pieces

½ a bag of frozen peas, defrosted

Handful of corander and mint leaves



Large pan on stove, put oil in it; when hot, put in the shahjeera, let it crackle, put in the cinnamon, cardomams, cloves and bay leaf and let them sizzle for a bit. Then put in the chilli, the leaves, the onions and the ginger and garlic. (If using g&g paste, put in after the onions have softened slightly). When onions are softened, but not browned, put in the washed rice (without the water it was sitting in). Stir the rice around a bit until nicely coated. Then put in the potatoes and stir them around too. Put in 2.5 mugs of boiling water (just quicker that’s all), add a teaspoonful of salt (or two if you want to eat the rice on its own). Put the lid on and let it simmer for ten minutes, then add the peas, stir it all with a wooden spoon, put lid back on, cook on low for another ten minutes. Don’t stir it at the end – it should look great as it is, undisturbed.