Aloo achaar (Nepalese potato salad)

2 Jun


Where have you been all my life, aloo achaar? Waiting quietly on page 50 of my well-worn copy of Madhur Jaffrey’s World of the East Vegetarian Cooking, that’s where. I must have flipped past you a hundred times on my way to the very spicy delicious chickpeas or diced potatoes with spinach recipe.

The combination of potatoes and ground sesame seeds was a revelation, and quite unlike anything I’ve eaten before. I found the dish improved the longer it sat, though it didn’t get to sit all that long. I’ll definitely double the quantities next time.

Aloo achaar
(serves 4)

  • 4 medium-sized waxy potatoes
  • 4 Tb roasted sesame seeds, ground
  • 3 Tb lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 fresh green chillies, seeded and finely minced (or to taste)
  • 4 Tb sesame oil
  • 2 tsp sunflower oil
  • a pinch of asafetida
  • 10 whole fenugreek seeds
  • 3 Tb fresh coriander, finely chopped
  1. Boil the potatoes in their skins until tender.
  2. Combine the sesame seeds, lemon juice, salt, chillies and sesame oil and mix well.
  3. Heat the sunflower oil in a metal ladle or butter warmer until very hot. Add the asafetida and fenugreek seeds.
  4. As soon as the fenugreek starts to darken, remove from the heat and pour the oil and spices into the dressing. Mix well, add the chopped coriander and mix again.
  5. When the potatoes are cooked, drain and peel while still hot. Dice into 3/4″ cubes, and toss with the dressing.
  6. Let it stand for at least half an hour before serving.


5 Responses to “Aloo achaar (Nepalese potato salad)”

  1. Margo June 2, 2015 at 2:41 pm #

    Sounds interesting in taste and textures.

  2. thehungrymum June 5, 2015 at 5:54 am #

    I’ve never met a potato salad I didn;t like! This looks great, and so exotic.

    • Andrea June 5, 2015 at 2:15 pm #

      Thank you! I’m with you on that…;-)

  3. Landskip April 8, 2023 at 12:28 am #

    Thank you. A great favorite of mine that has condemned me over the years to many hours of pounding roasted sesame seeds in my mortar.

    • Andrea April 11, 2023 at 12:16 pm #

      So true — and definitely worth it 🙂

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