There is no other vegetable as versatile as a humble potato. Most of the times potato gets lost in blend of spices or is used as a filler among other vegetables. This stir fry is rather a simple dish put together in 10 minutes with the potatoes being the center of attraction. The Konkani name for it is "Batate Usli", often served alongside Chapatis or Pooris.
2-3 medium sized potatoes
1 sprig curry leaves
A pinch or 2 of hing
Vaagu in Konkani means Tiger. Its also the name of a spicy stew, perhaps named for its beautiful Orange color and the heat of the red chillies that bring the mouth on fire.
The traditional Konkani Vaggu is made with potatoes and the sauce is prepared by grinding whole roasted spices. This dish has a strong flavor of hing and curry leaves. This recipe is simplified and some of the ingredients are substituted.
I grew up in the Coastal Karnataka where Jackfruit is in abundance. Back then, not many years back, almost every house with the backyard had a Jackfruit tree, a mango tree and few coconut trees.Since everyone had access to fresh grown Jackfruits I never realized how delicious and exotic these Jackfruits were!
I grew up in the small town of Puttur which was a quite town back then. Most of the socializing was during a temple festival or events/utsav's which is usually followed by a delicious finger licking meal for everyone who visited the festivities. These meals are often called boori samaradhane in Konkani which means meals for everyone. Back then I did not find these meals exciting, simply because there were too many of them and often. Waiting long hours for the meals to be served, on a hungry stomach wasn't very exciting. But when the meals are served on a banana leaves and the aroma of the saaru, dalitoy, gashi, pickles noNche filled the lunch rooms ..ah it was worth the the wait. It is a memory to be cherished.
Happy Gowri Tritiya & Ganesh Chaturti to all my readers.
Here is one humorous version of the story from the Hindu Mythology. Lord Ganesh was returning from a scrumptious dinner on his Birthday riding on his mouse. The mouse saw a snake on its path, frightened, it ran away tripping down Ganeshji. Ganeshji fell and burst open his stomach. The moon saw this disaster and made fun of them. Out of humiliation, Ganeshji wore the snake around his stomach like a belt. He chased the moon and later cursed him that none of the Ganeshji's devotees would look at the moon on Ganesh's Birthday.