Peas and potatoes cooked in a Bihari Style

Adapted from Vegetarian India by Madhur Jaffrey.

Serves 4 to 6

The serrano chiles I found were large; I used about 1 1/4 chiles, and the dish was plenty hot. Jaffrey calls for fresh or frozen peas. I tested the recipe with frozen petite peas, which were just fine (and obviously way less labor intensive) so that's what's called for here.


2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

1 medium onion, chopped

1 tablespoon peeled and finely grated fresh ginger

1 to 2 serrano chiles, finely chopped, including the seeds

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

2 1/3 cups frozen peas, defrosted under running water

1 medium red potato, boiled, cooled, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large-ish sauté pan, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for 10 seconds. Add the onion, then stir and fry for five or six minutes, until they're soft. 

Add the ginger, serrano chile and turmeric and stir for a minute. Add the peas, potatoes, salt and pepper and stir and cook for two to three minutes, sprinkling with a little water if the peas get too dry.