The potato craving usually hits hard in the winter when I need some good ol’ comfort food that will stick to my ribs and satisfy my need for warmth… if only for a while. These potatoes, spiced with turmeric and green chilis does just that.
I would have to agree, sweet potato is the healthier option as it contains a tonne of good stuff, especially vitamins A and C. I cook with these naturally sugary potatoes often, but for this recipe only a good old fashioned potato will do. I occasionally cook potatoes much to my husband’s dismay, as he loves them in his curry. Every now and then I make a potato dish I call ‘batata fry‘.
Tear off a warm piece of ghee soaked roti, use it to envelope a couple of spiced potatoes and a bit of the green chili and pop it into your mouth. With each bite, the warm heat from the green chilis will slowly creep into your body and the comfort of the potatoes will have you floating into an abyss of happiness. I would suggest grabbing a warm comfy blanket and head off for a nap after this comforting meal. Sigh…
(Turmeric and Cumin Spiced Potatoes)
- 2 tablespoons ghee or grape seed oil
- ¾ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 8 small Thai green chilis
- 3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed (2 ½ cups)
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Squeeze of lemon
- Pinch of gharam masala (optional)
Heat the ghee or oil till it’s very hot but not smoking.
Reduce the heat to medium and throw in the cumin seeds and 6 green chilis.
Cover slightly as the chilis and cumin seeds will begin to pop profusely.
Before the seeds blacken toss in the potatoes.
Sprinkle with ground turmeric, ground cumin and sea salt.
Stir for a few seconds, cover the pot and reduce the heat to low.
Once the potatoes soften, pour in the water and the tamarind paste.
Stir and simmer for a few minutes.
Scoop into a warm bowl.
Garnish with cilantro, lemon juice and the gharam masala (if using).
Finely chop the last two Thai chilis and scatter over the batata fry.
- To avoid the chilis from exploding in the hot oil, make a tiny slit in each one before throwing them in.
- Depending on the variety of the potato or when the crop was harvested, the potatoes may naturally contain a little or a lot of water. Therefore adjust the water as necessary. I taught a class a few weeks ago and the water I suggested adding was enough for most students. But for some they had to add more water.
- If you like a thicker creamy curry, gently smash a couple of the potatoes while it’s simmering and add about a 1/2 cup more of water.
- For brunch, Batata fry tastes great with poached eggs and a crusty thick slab of french bread loaded with butter. Yum!