In South India, fasts strictly mean virtually no food except Phala-haaram which literally means a fruits-only diet. In my home, I have seen people have only bananas and milk. However, in many parts of Western India, Potato, Sweet Potato, Sabudana, Peanuts etc. are allowed as fasting foods. This has given rise to an entire genre of cuisine called Vrat ka Khana or Upwas ka Khana.
Another popular “fasting” dish that I have found on many a menu in traditional Maharahstrian eateries is Farali Misal. This is a delicious, easy-to-make, spicy potato-peanut based stew topped with some crunchy sweetish farali potato chivda.
The Farali Misal is quite unlike the traditional Kolhapuri Misal so let not the name fool you. 🙂
Time: 45 Minutes
- Potatoes – 3 Large
- Roasted Peanuts – 1 Cup
- Green Chillies – 4 to 6
- Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
- Farali Batata Chivda or Potato Chivda or Batata Salli – 1 Cup
- Ghee – 1 tbsp (Vegans can use oil)
- Saindha Namak or Regular Salt to Taste
- Preparing the Potatoes
- Boil the potatoes.
- Peel and crush into pieces.
- Grind 1/2 cup peanuts into a coarse powder.
- Chop the green chillies into small pieces.
- In a kadai, heat the ghee.
- Add the cumin seeds and green chilli pieces.
- Stir-fry for a few seconds till the cumin seeds just start to change colour.
- Add the crushed boiled potato and mix well.
- Stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
- Add the peanut powder, crushed peanuts and salt.
- Add about 2 cups of water or enough to cover the potatoes.
- Simmer till the gravy thickens.
- Turn off the heat.
- To Serve:
- Ensure that the potato-peanut curry is warm.
- Divide the potato-peanut curry into four equal portions.
- Top each portion with 1/4 cup of Farali Batata Chivda (potato chivda).
- You could use ginger-green chilli paste instead of just chopped green chillies.
- You could add more body to this Farali Misal by using Sabudana Khichadi as the base. In such a case, first add Sabudana Khichadi to the bowl, then the potato-peanut curry and finally the chivda.
- If you are using Sabudana Khichadi as a base, make sure it uses no rai or mustard seeds (these are a no-no on fasting days). You may also want to reduce the amount of peanuts in the Khichadi as the potato curry has lots of it.