Written by Gitam Garden

Preparation time:  40 minutes

Serves: 4

Here’s a lovely simple recipe I learned to make over forty years ago in India, warming and comforting on a wet and windy evening such as we’ve had lately in Byron Bay, it’s easy to put together in just a short time.


2 teaspoons coriander seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

4 medium potatoes

2 cups diced sweet potatoes

½ cup oil

½ teaspoon hing

2.5 cm fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 small red chilli, finely chopped

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup water



  1. Roast the coriander seeds in a heavy based frypan. When their aroma begins to rise, add the cumin seeds and continue to roast until the cumin seeds darken a shade or two. Remove from the pan and grind to a powder in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder

  2. Cut the potatoes and sweet potatoes into 2.5 cm cubes

  3. Heat the oil in a 3 litre pot. When hot but not smoking, add hing and fry momentarily

  4. Add ginger, chilli, turmeric, cumin and coriander, paprika, garam masala and salt and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes on low heat

  5. Add the potatoes and sweet potatoes. Stir them well to coat with spice mixture

  6. Add water, bring to boil, then lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked, adding a little more water if the mixture becomes too dry

  7. Serve hot, with rice or chapatti and a cucumber raita