Potato/Aloo Ka Achar from Kathmandu

Contributed by Harsh Magotra Sudan

The versatile Potato is loved by one and all, in any form that we might cook it! A common myth about potatoes that they are fattening due to the starch is incorrect. In fact it’s fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 content, coupled with its lack of cholesterol support heart health.

Nepali Alu Ka Achar, like most Indian dishes, is also made differently in various households. However, there are a few key ingredients which remain constant like mustard oil, white sesame seeds and fenugreek seeds.


  1. Bite size potatoes (aloo) 8-10
  2. Small Bhindi/ Ladies finger pieces 2-3
  3. Small Bittergourd pieces 1
  4. Small Cucumber pieces 1
  5. Thin sliced onion 1-2
  6. Toasted white sesame seeds (til) 2-3 spoons
  7. sesame seed powder 1 tsp
  8. 1 tablespoon salt
  9. 1½ tablespoons red chili powder
  10. ½ teaspoon Sichuan pepper (timur)
  11. ½ cup mustard oil /
  12. Fenugreek seeds 1/2 tbsp
  13. Cumin 1/2 tbsp
  14. 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  15. Asafoetida pinch
  16. Turmeric powder 1/2 spoon
  17. ⅔ cup water
  18. Lemon or lime juice, freshly squeezed


  1. Boil potatoes in salted water, peel, and cut to medium sized cubes.
  2. While potatoes are cooking, dry roast sesame seeds until golden. Cool to room temperature and grind to powder.
  3. In a bowl, mix the cubed potatoes, sesame seed powder, salt, chili powder, and Sichuan pepper.
  4. Heat oil in a skillet, add the fenugreek and cumin to brown briefly, then off the heat and add ginger, asafoetida, and turmeric. Stir for 1 minute
  5. Add water, lemon/lime juice, and chopped cilantro and mix well.
  6. Cover the pan and allow flavors to meld for 30 to 60 minutes.
  7. If refrigerated, aloo ko achar keeps for about a month, if stirred often.