Aloo Sem: Potato and Broad Beans Curry

9 Nov

Sem is Hindi for broad beans, a variety of beans with a distinct robust flavor. This recipe for aloo sem – i.e. potato and broad beans curry – is the typical way the curry is made in a "pure" vegetarian (no onion or garlic) household in Bihar.

Plenty of photos – one for each step of the recipe this time :-)

Aloo Sem

You Need:

  • Sem (broad beans) – 250 grams
  • Potatoes – 2, boiled
  • Tomatoes – 2, chopped
  • Red chili powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder – a pinch
  • Salt – to taste
  • Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Asafoetida – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Mustard oil – 1 tablespoon

How To:

Cut the broad beans into 1-cm long pieces. You might have to destring them as you cut.

Broad Beans

Peel and cut boiled potatoes. [Make sure the potatoes are not hot when you cut them, they turn mushy if you do that.]

Heat mustard oil in a kadhai or skillet. When hot, add mustard seeds and asafoetida. Let mustard seeds splutter.


Add cut broad beans and chopped tomatoes. Stir, let them cook for 5 minutes on medium flame.

Potatoes and Broad Beans, Cooking

Add potato cubes and spices – turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, red chili powder and salt.

Potatoes and Broad Beans, Cooking 4

Mix well and continue to cook for another couple of minutes.

Potatoes and Broad Beans, Cooking 5

Add half a cup of water, stir and let it come to a boil.


Cover and cook till the broad beans are cooked (5-6 mins).


Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with chapatis.

My meal today: aloo sem curry, chapatis and coriander chutney.

Aloo Sem Curry


2 Responses to “Aloo Sem: Potato and Broad Beans Curry”

  1. Subhie November 14, 2012 at 3:53 PM #

    Lov ur space especially shots… Awesome .hapi follow u!glad if u do the same


  2. Tadka Pasta December 6, 2012 at 11:50 AM #

    Yum! I recently started making this subzi and just love the earthiness of it. I think my recipe is the same except that it ends up quite dry and you’ve got a little gravy. Nice shiny kadai too, btw :p

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