Jakhiya Aloo is a delicacy from the Uttarakhand region where potatoes are cooked with a pahadi spice called Jakhiya. Here is how to make this stir fry (vegan, can be easily made gluten-free).
What Is Jakhiya
Jakhiya are tiny dark brown seeds derived from Jakhiya flowers, a wild edible flowering plant that is found around the world and in many parts of India. It is also known by the names of Asian spider flower, cleome, dog mustard, tickweed, viscid cleome, wild caia, and wild mustard.
Almost all the parts of Jakhiya plant are used in making traditional medicines and treating diseases.
Jakhiya Seeds are a popular ingredient in the cuisine of Uttarakhand and are used to temper the dishes. They resemble black mustard seeds but are quite different when it comes to their flavor and texture.
They give a beautiful earthy aroma and a nutty crunchy taste, that makes even a simple stir fry so delicious.
Jakhiya seeds are used to temper simple dry dishes such as potatoes, vegetables, or pahadi greens such as palak, rye (mustard), mooli ke patte, amaranth, etc. It can also be used to temper dals and pulao.
Where To Find Jakhiya
Jakhiya can be found in some of the local grocery stores of Uttarakhand, so get your hands on it if you are traveling to the state.
Due to the growing popularity of Uttarakhandi cuisine, many online portals such as Amazon have started selling this local spice too.
How To Store Jakhiya Seeds
Jakhiya lasts for almost a year when stored in a closed container at room temperature. You can refrigerate them to increase their shelf life even more.
About Pahadi Jakhiya Aloo
Jakhiya Aloo is a traditional dish from Uttarakhand where baby potatoes are flavored with a pahadi spice called jakhiya and a few more simple ingredients.
It is vegan, delicious, and comes together in just 15 minutes.
This recipe can be made in multiple ways and each house has its own way of making it. Some make it with boiled potatoes and some make it with regular potatoes cut into cubes. The spices that are added to it also vary from home to home.
In this post, I am sharing a recipe that I learned from the caretaker of the Airbnb house that we stayed in at Almora.
Jakhiya aloo is mostly served as a snack with tea and pahadi raita. You can also serve it as a side dish with phulka and dal.
It is a great dish to pack for lunch boxes with paratha.
Potatoes – You can use baby potatoes or regular potatoes to make this stir fry.
Jakhiya is a pahari spice that adds a unique nutty crunch and earthy aroma to the sabzi.
Oil – Use mustard oil for the traditional taste. If it’s not available, then use vegetable oil.
Others – You will also need asafetida (hing), garlic, dry red chilies, salt, lime juice, and cilantro (fresh coriander leaves).
Skip adding asafetida to make the sabzi gluten-free.
Jakhiya Aloo will last for 3-4 days when stored in a clean and dry air-tight container in the fridge. Reheat in a pan or microwave until nice and warm before serving.
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Pahadi Jakhiya Aloo Recipe
- 2 tablespoons mustard oil (or any other cooking oil)
- 1 tablespoon Jakhiya
- ¼ teaspoon asafetida (hing) (skip for gluten-free)
- 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
- 2-3 dry red chilies (broken into small pieces)
- 1 pound baby potatoes (500 g, halved and skin on)
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- ½ cup finely chopped cilantro (fresh coriander leaves)
- Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat
- Once the oil is hot, add jakhiya and asafetida and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.
- Note – The oil should be nicely hot for the jhakiya to crackle properly and release all its flavors in the oil.
- Add the garlic and dry red chilies and saute for 20-30 seconds until the garlic is golden brown.
- Add the potatoes and salt and mix well.
- Add 2-3 tablespoon of water and reduce the heat to low.
- Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Toss a few times while cooking.
- Once the potatoes are cooked well, add lime juice and coriander and mix well.
- Check for salt and add more if needed.
- Serve hot.