A very typical dish from the bazaars of the old city of Banaras (I and many others still use the old name for Varanasi). Serve with puffed fried breads or any other Indian flatbreads, as well as other vegetables, chutneys, and raita.

    SERVES 4

    • 4 tablespoons olive or peanut oil
    • Generous pinch of ground asafetida
    • 1 teaspoon whole brown mustard seeds
    • ½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds
    • A ½-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into minute dice
    • 1–2 fresh hot green chilies, very finely chopped
    • 1½ teaspoons ground coriander
    • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
    • ½ teaspoon nice red chili powder
    • 1½ lbs. waxy potatoes, boiled, peeled, and cut or broken into small pieces, none larger on any side than ⅓ inch
    • 1–1½ teaspoons ground amchoor or lemon juice
    • 1–1½ teaspoons salt
    • ¾ teaspoon garam masala

    1. Put the oil in a large nonstick frying pan or wok and set over medium heat. When hot, add the asafetida and, a second later, the mustard seeds. As soon as the seeds start to pop, in a matter of seconds, add the cumin seeds. Two seconds later, add the ginger and green chilies. Stir for a few seconds. Add the coriander, turmeric, and chili powder. Stir once, then quickly add all the broken potatoes. Stir and fry for a minute.

    2. Add ½ cup of water, lower the heat, and mix until well incorporated. Add the amchoor, salt, and garam masala. Stir gently and cook for another minute.