Alu Bodi Tama: A Comforting Nepali Bean & Potato Stew
Image Credit: Noah Feck

A typical Nepali homestyle meal has multiple vegetable sides that accompany the usual lentils and rice. It is rather easy to spot similarities between north eastern cooking in India and Nepali cuisine for various reasons. For one, most of their traditional food is healthy and relies on the probiotics obtained from techniques like fermenting or pickling vegetables, shoots and herbs. Secondly, the food is light and not too heavy on spices or oil, making it universally healthy for people to consume.

Warm foods and meat from local animals like sheep or yak, coupled with locally distilled liquors are pretty much what works as staple food for the cold climates of the region. The alu bodi tama, a curry made of potatoes, black eyed peas and bamboo shoots, is such an example of ‘clean’ food that is a well-balanced mix of essential nutrients. While it may seem like an acquired taste to some, the hearty nature of the dish and the various textures from the bean, bamboo shoot and potatoes is perfect to scoop over a bowl of rice and enjoy while you snuggle in bed, in front of the television.



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  • 1 cup black eyed peas/lobiya (soaked overnight)
  • 1 potato, peeled and diced
  • 2-3 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ cup fermented bamboo shoot
  • 1 green chilli, slit lengthwise
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt to taste


Image Credits: Chef Suni/YouTube

  • Heat some oil in a pressure cooker and add the tempering of fenugreek seeds and green chillies. Allow both to splutter before adding the minced garlic and sautéing for a couple of minutes.
  • Stir in the fermented bamboo shoots and potatoes and fry them for four minutes. Add all the spice powders and season lightly. Next, add in the chopped tomatoes and mix well.
  • Allow the tomatoes to soften and cook for 7-8 minutes before you drain and stir in the soaked black eyed peas. Season liberally with salt and add the water. Mix well and shut the lid of the cooker and pressure cook the stew for 2 whistles.
  • Turn off the heat and rest the stew inside the residual heat from the cooker for 10 minutes before you open the lid. Garnish with a generous amount of chopped coriander and serve hot with rice and a dollop of ghee.