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 :-)
- 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
Cut the broad beans into 1-cm long pieces. You might have to destring them as you cut.
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.
Add potato cubes and spices – turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, red chili powder and salt.
Mix well and continue to cook for another couple of minutes.
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.