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Pink fir apple potato with toasted sesame seeds

Mr Todiwala's Bombay
Helen Cathcart

This recipe is designed to bring out the best in the pink fir apple, which is the king amongst fingerling potatoes. Slender and thin it delivers a fabulous texture and taste if handled delicately and not too heavily spiced. You can, of course, use other similar varieties with very good results!


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
750g pink fir apple potatoes
3 tablespoons sunflower or rapeseed oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2-3 green chillies, split in quarters, lengthways
7.5 cm piece fresh ginger, grated
15-20 curry leaves, shredded
1/4 teaspoon ground asafoetida
3 onions, thinly sliced
salt, to taste
2 plum tomatoes, chopped, (optional)
1 tablespoon coriander leaves, chopped


  1. Place the sesame seeds in a baking tray and toast in the oven at 140°C for 10 minutes, then switch off the oven, leaving the tray inside for a further 10 minutes but making sure the seeds don’t burn and you stir them about regularly. Alternatively, toast in a dry frying pan over a medium heat, stirring until just golden then tip out of the pan immediately to prevent burning.
  2. Cut the potatoes into small dice.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pan. When a haze forms but it is not smoking, add the cumin seeds and stir briefly then add the chilli, ginger, curry leaves and asafoetida. Stir for a few seconds until the crackling stops then add the onions and sauté for about 3 minutes until lightly golden and then add in the potatoes.
  4. Continue to sauté until the potatoes are evenly coated in the mixture. Season with salt and add enough water to half-cover the potatoes (do not add too much, as you want a nicely moist but not wet potato after cooking). Bring to the boil, cover tightly with a lid, reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes until nearly cooked. Gently stir from time to time to rotate the potatoes so as to avoid uneven cooking.
  5. Remove the lid, add the chopped tomatoes, if using, and continue to cook in the open pan until the potatoes are tender and bathed in just a little thickened liquid. Add the toasted sesame seeds and mix well. Check the seasoning and stir in the fresh coriander. Serve hot.
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