The lip-smacking Dhaniya Aloo is undisputedly one of the most famous snacks of Kanpur. Made from fresh coriander and potatoes, this dish is better known on the street as chutney wale aloo or hari dhaniya wale aloo or hara aloo.
This mouth-watering dish has been prepared by locals for centuries using the age-old recipe. This hugely popular chaat is found in pretty much every chaat bhandar and with every street vendor.
First, the stalks of fresh coriander are cut and the leaves are washed thoroughly. The leaves are ground to a fine paste along with a generous handful of green chillies, one amla or a little tamarind and salt. A dash of lemon juice is added to the spicy chutney that is removed from the mixer and kept aside in a bowl.
Baby potatoes or medium-sized potatoes are boiled, allowed to cool and then peeled. The medium-sized potatoes if used are cut into two and placed in a large vessel. A sizeable portion of the coriander chutney is added to the boiled potatoes and mixed well. A couple of tablespoons of hung curd is added to this potato mix. It is important to strain the curd while adding it to the potatoes.
Salt and a little lemon juice are added if required after which the potatoes are allowed to soak in the goodness of the chutney for 20 – 30 minutes. It is served with a sprinkle of chaat masala, red chilli powder, jeera powder and kala namak. Sometimes, freshly grated carrot is added as a garnish.
Written by Lakshmi Subramanian