Nigella Lawson Cooks Panchphoran Aloo, A ‘Glorious Potato Dish’
Image Credit: Twitter/Nigella Lawson

The fact that Nigella Lawson, cook, author and television presenter, is the ultimate goddess of leisurely cooking at home is undeniable. The British cook is famed for making home-style cooking and entertaining guests with food a beautiful thing to watch and do. But did you know that Nigella Lawson is also known for trying out Indian dishes from time to time? 

In a recent Twitter post, Nigella Lawson explained what her new Recipe Of The Day was, and this one has a deeply Indian touch. “#RecipeOfTheDay is a glorious potato dish, Panchphoran Aloo, that I feel I’ve been cooking forever and will never tire of!” Nigella writes in the Tweet. “With eternal gratitude to @SameenRushdie from whose wonderful book #IndianCookery it comes from.” 

In case you didn’t know, Panchphoran Aloo is a simple potato dish made with a tempering of the Bengali blend of five spices known as Panch Phoran. Typically, Panch Phoran consists of fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, fennel seeds and Nigella’s nameksake, nigella seeds. Panchphoran Aloo recipe, apart from this tempering, also includes turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt and coriander leaves. 

On her recipe blog, Nigella Lawson explains more about Panchphoran Aloo and says that this “glorious potato dish” has been a constant in her life for ages. “I’ve been cooking Sameen Rushdie’s Panchphoran Aloo — as these are properly called — ever since her wonderful book, Indian Cookery, was first published in 1988 and, indeed, I wrote about them in my first book, How to Eat, published 10 years after,” she says. “In other words, they’re a constant in my life, and once you make them, you will see why.” 

But while you might like to eat these Panchphoran Aloo with rotis or parathas, Nigella Lawson’s take on it is quite different: “I’m afraid I mostly cook them not in the context of an actual Indian meal, but to accompany fried eggs for brunch at weekends, or to give pep to leftovers in the week or whenever; they’re also a must for my Christmas cold cuts, though we don’t need to think about that right now!”