Thursday, December 3, 2015

Radish Greens and Potato Stir Fry, Indian Style (Mooli Aloo Ki Bhujia)

Although there were many fine vegetables in Malaysia, I was basically homesick for Indian vegetables. When we returned to India, it was a great thrill to feast my eyes on the wares of our vegetable sellers and gorge on dishes made with what I bought from them.

Often, certain vegetables are sold with their greens. Many such greens can be used in dals (lentil stews) or in meat or chicken dishes. Radish greens do form many dishes all by themselves, too.

Fresh radish greens can also be used in salads. Normally, I'd just wash the greens really well, remove most of the stalk and keep the freshest parts. Chop really fine and toss into your everyday simple salad to jazz it up.

What I find the tastiest, though, is radish greens cooked with diced potatoes. 


Radish leaves from 2 radishes or about 2 cups of chopped radish greens

2 potatoes, peeled and diced - about 2 cups of diced potatoes (Keep them immersed in some water to prevent them from turning black - drain well before use to avoid the oil spluttering all over you! If you're a novice, pat them dry with some paper towels).

1 large onion, sliced

1 small tomato, finely chopped

4 - 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped and half the amount of finely chopped ginger (you can also make a paste of them by grinding, if you like)

2 dry red chillies, broken into pieces (avoid or reduce if you can't take the heat)

2 tablespoons oil - whatever cooking medium you prefer. I try to choose either ghee or coconut oil, but mostly use sunflower oil, which is the cheapest.

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 or 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder (avoid or reduce if you can't take the heat)

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder 

A pinch of hing (asafoetida) (to address the gas forming properties of potatoes)

Salt - 1 teaspoon or to taste


Wash the radish leaves well and chop them finely. Try to avoid the stem and all fibrous parts. 

Heat the oil in a saucepan; add the broken dry red chilies and, when they begin to change colour, the cumin seeds. 

While they are crackling, quickly add the diced potatoes and fry well on a medium flame, stirring frequently to avoid burning, until they look a bit crisp on the outside. 

Lower the fire and continue cooking. You can add salt before you lower the flame as, apparently, it helps hasten cooking. Keep stirring now and again to prevent burning.

When the potatoes are done (check by pricking them with a fork), sprinkle the powders and stir well to coat all the potatoes. 

Add the sliced onions and the ginger and garlic. Fry till the onions look glazed or translucent. 

Add the chopped radish greens and fry on medium heat until the greens look wilted. This might take some 10 minutes or less. 

Lastly, add the chopped tomato and keep stirring until it blends in well. 

Check for seasoning. 

Serve with hot chapatis, a dal dish and some dahi or a raita.

The leftovers can be made into a delicious toasted sandwich.

Butter two slices of bread. On one slice, put some of the leftover potato-greens, a few slices of onions and tomatoes, some chopped green chilies if you like the heat, sprinkle a dash of salt and pepper and top with a slice of cheese. Toast on a tawa or in an electric toaster.

I'd used this, a Glen toaster which I'd got free when I bought a gas stove.

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