South Indian Potato Sabzi

  • Total Time: 90 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 Servings 1x



  • 2 tbsp chana daal
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, about 4 large potatoes, rinsed
  • 4 tbsp high heat oil, such as peanut or grapeseed
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp ginger (heaping), finely chopped
  • 15 curry leaves
  • 1 pound onions, thinly sliced, about 2 large onions
  • 2 thai chiles, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 2 tsp salt, adjust accordingly
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, adjust accordingly


  1. Soak chana daal in hot water for 30 minutes to soften daal. Drain water from daal after 30 minutes and set aside
  2. While chana daal is soaking, put potatoes in large pot, whole and unpeeled. Cover with cold or room temperature water so all potatoes are immersed in water. Set heat to medium-high.
  3. Bring water to boil, then boil on medium-high heat for 15 minutes. Check potatoes with butter knife, if still raw, cook in 5 minute increments for up to 10 more minutes. Knife should go in smoothly, without resistance. Be careful, you don’t want your potatoes to be overcooked and mushy
  4. When potatoes are done, remove from hot water and let cool in a large bowl
  5. Once potatoes are cool to touch, peel skin with your fingers and slice potatoes into 1/2 – 3/4 inch cubes. Set aside
  6. In 4-6 quart wok, heat oil over medium heat. Oil is hot when 1-2 mustard seeds immediately sizzle and pop when placed in oil. Add the remaining mustard seeds, immediately cover with lid, and decrease heat to low
  7. When mustard seeds finish popping, add drained chana daal to wok and saute for 2-3 minutes over low heat
  8. Increase heat to medium. Add minced ginger, curry leaves, and minced green chili to wok and stir for 2-3 minutes.
  9. Add onions and stir to coat with oil and spices
  10. Once onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes, add turmeric and asafoetida and combine. Add 3/4 cup hot water and mix well. Add salt to taste
  11. Decrease heat to low, add potatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally as sauce thickens
  12. Last, add lemon juice and mix well, adjust to taste
  13. Serve hot with dosa, roti, or puri.