Indian Potatoes

by Rachel on June 28, 2013

Indian Potatoes

This is a recipe from my Indian cooking class with the lovely Asma. Asma was raised in India and has a confidence in the kitchen that only comes with years and years of practice. She needed no assistance from written recipes to complete the six dishes that she prepared for us. They are like second nature to her. Her facility with a wide range of spices is a bit daunting even for skilled American cooks who are used to a much more narrow range of seasonings.

Indian Potatoes (makes 8 side servings)

  • 6 white potatoes (whole, not peeled)
  • ½ cup oil (grapeseed or olive oil)
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste*
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste*
  • 2 serrano chilies, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ bunch cilantro (remove last ½ of the stems, and then chop)
  • additional cilantro for garnish

*Asma makes her own garlic and ginger paste. Such pastes can be purchased at a specialty market like Whole Foods, or an Indian market (if you have one near you) or online at Amazon. Truth be told, they are all extremely easy to make. Asma buys a large container of peeled garlic at Costco, places the garlic in a blender, adds a tiny quantity of water (a teaspoon or two) and processes the garlic until smooth. This paste will last in the fridge for a number of weeks, or can be frozen and straight from the freezer. Ginger paste is made in the same manner. Peel fresh ginger, cut it into chunks, place it in your blender with a small amount of water and process until smooth.

Boil the potatoes whole until very soft. Remove from hot water. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel them and chop them into small cubes. In a wok heat oil. Add mustard seeds and heat them until they start to crackle. Add the cumin seeds. Heat them until they burst. Add the ginger and the garlic paste. Add the green chilies. Move everything to the side and add the turmeric straight into the hot oil (rather than sprinkling it over all of the ingredients). Stir and then add the onions. Stir everything for 2-3 minutes. Add the potato cubes and mix well. Add the salt, lemon juice and cilantro and continue to stir on medium heat. You’ll find that the potatoes will start to fall apart a bit. This is to be expected. Leave on the heat for 5-8 minutes until the potatoes are completely heated through. Remove to a serving dish and garnish with additional chopped cilantro.

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