Onion Sprouts Stir fried with Potato Strips(Peyaajkoli Aloo Bhaja)
ONION FLOWER STALK(Peyaajkoli in Bengali) have been described as resembling a 'pom-pom' . They appear at the top end of the onion's green cylindrical stalks and is often confused with the spring onion or onion greens.
Peyaajkoli is a green ingredient used widely during winters, in some interesting combinations in the Bengali households, especially in the eastern region of India. However in Mumbai, it is available during some rare lucky weekends at my fishmonger (who arranges the supply of much of his fish stock from Bengal and also happens to order these along with). Though charged an exorbitant price, my heart skips a beat whenever I see these beauties as my taste buds remind me of the subtly sweet, crunchy, rarely slight pungent too taste of these stalks. Last weekend I paid Rs.40 for the 250 grams of prized possession. So though, these may not be available no more in Bombay, here is my ode to the humble Peyaajkoli.
Serves : 2
Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Cooking Time : 20 minutes
Accompaniment : Chappati, Paratha, Dal & Rice
Onion Flower Stalk - 1 bunch(250gms)
Potato - 1 medium or 2 large size
Salt - To taste
Turmeric Powder - 1 pinch
Green Chilies - 3-4(red chili or red paprika powder)
Mustard Oil - 2 tablespoons
Take a dry chopping board.
Take 4-5 pieces of the onion flower stalk and bunch them up together at the end.
Chop off about 1/4" from the uneven ends and discard.
Now cut about 1&1/2"(one and a half inch).
Continue to cut the full length of the stalks evenly.
(One sure shot way to cut equal sized pieces is to line up the previously cut piece and cut the next according to the previous piece.)
Soak the cut pieces of onion flower stalk in a bowl filled with water.
Peel the potato.(If you wish you may leave the skin on and not peel them to get a rustic look and taste)
Cut lengthwise into half.
Each half of the potato cut into strips of 1/4".
Soak the potato strips in water to wash away the starch.
Drain the onion flower stalks and the potato strips.
In a wok or non-stick kadhai, add the mustard oil.
When the oil is smoking, reduce the flame and add the potato strips.
Sprinkle a little bit of salt over the potato strips and cover with a lid.
After about 5-7 minutes, remove the lid and gently turn the potato strips with a spatula.
Sprinkle a little bit of turmeric powder over the potato strips.
Then add the cut strips of the onion flower stalks.
Add a little bit of salt over the onion flower stalk strips.
Gently flip the contents of the kadhai, so that the potato strips don't break.
Add the green chilies or you may add a sprinkle of red paprika or red chilli powder for a little bit of punch.(The green chilies and the onion flower stalks are difficult to distinguish while eating, so in case you wish to avoid a fiery bite, best to sprinkle the little bit of red chili powder or not at all. The choice is entirely up to your palate.)
When the potatoes are nicely fried and tender(the onion flower stalks will still retain a bit of crunch) turn off the flame.