Alur khosa bhaja /crisp fried potato peel

9:31 PM


One of my favorite books of all time is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Anny Barrows. The book is set in 1946, a time when the whole world was starting to recover from the devastating World war 2.

I should not be a spoilsport and reveal the storyline here but let me just tell you that the book gets its name from an innovative dish the islanders created during the time of War.

World War 2 brought in the rationing of staples around the whole world. Food was scarce everywhere, but it was more so on the island of Guernsey as the German outpost there took away everything the people produced. All they were left with were potatoes and seawater to season it. They could not afford to waste anything and came out with an innovative way to use up potato peels to replace flour and make a pie crust. This story always reminded me of my ma's alur khosa bhaja or crisp fried potato peels. 

As they say, hunger is the best sauce-we all try to use every bit of our resources during the time of hardship. Now that this Corona outbreak has forced us all to stay home and ration and budget our meals for weeks to come, I am sure we will go back to our grandmother's frugal kitchen and look for such recipes. Where nose to tail dining has always been the way of life. Merely anything got wasted and creative ways were devised to use up everything. vegetable peels, stems-stalks-leaves of vegetable vines, foraged greens, wild berries, fish offals all found its place on our plates, on our tables. 

Let's find inspiration from there and make food available for everyone. 

Note: to cook any vegetable peel you need to peel them little thickly than usual. I have added step by step pictures to help with that.

Also find my Khosa charchari (Vegetable peels curry) recipe HERE.

Alur Khosa Bhaja

Ingredients:
Peels of potato (Preferably organic) : 1 cup (Peel little thickly)
Rice flour: 1 tbsp
All-purpose flour/corn flour: 1 tbsp
Salt: as per taste
Turmeric: 1/3 tsp
chili powder: 1/3 tsp
Poppy seeds/ Posto: 1 tsp
Oil for shallow frying.

Method:
Wash the potatoes really well by scrubbing the skin. I always use organic potatoes for such recipes.

Peel the potato skin little thickly and then cut in 1" pieces.
Wash again and drain well.
Place them on a piece of kitchen towel and let dry up.

Mix the peels with everything except the oil. Let it stand for 15-20 minutes. After that the potatoes will release some juice and it would be easier to mix and stick the dry ingredients to the peels.

Heat some oil (I used an iron kadhai and used 4 tbsp oil for frying. It did not absorb much oil) properly and then put the flame on medium. Place the peels in the oil, make sure to separate them while you do so.
Fry for a minute and then flip them and fry till they are crisp.

Serve hot with rice and dal or even as an evening snack.

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