California was so relaxing, so invigorating! But I am now back home in Phoenix. The weather is starting to cool off here, and it feels nice to cook warmer stews and spicier dishes that wake up the palate.
This Indian recipe follows in the same footsteps as the Fried Eggplant we posted last week. It is pretty much the same technique, with longer cooking times and different ingredients, but the steps are the exact same. That’s the beauty of Indian cuisine; if you master the different techniques, you can pretty much fry, curry, korma, or pulao anything!
It is important to note here (and for the Fried Eggplant we posted last week) that the potatoes are not “fried” but rather sautéed in oil in a large skillet. Indians use the term fried, because as opposed to a curry, which is cooked mostly in a sauce, the fried dishes cook in oil. But there’s nothing deep fried here, rest assured!
- 2 lb potatoes, scrubbed
- 2 onions, cut into small dices
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 curry leaves (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 large heirloom tomato cut into small cubes (with seeds and skin)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon garlic-ginger paste* (optional)
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
Put the potatoes in a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Let the potatoes boil until fork-tender but not too tender that they fall apart. You want a nice structured potato. Drain the potatoes and place under cold running water for a few moments. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into cubes.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seed and let cook 2 minutes. Add the cumin seeds and curry leaves, if using, and sauté 1 minute. Add the onion and sauté while stirring for a minute. Add the turmeric, sauté, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Cover and cook, stirring regularly, until the onion is golden and caramelized, 7-8 minutes.
Add the potato cubes to the skillet. Mix thoroughly until the potatoes are coated with the spice and onion mixture. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add the tomatoes and 1 teaspoon sea salt, stir well, and continue cooking, covered, for an additional 4-5 minutes. Add the chili pepper and the garlic-ginger paste, if using, and stir well. Continue cooking for 1 minute. Add the garam masala and continue cooking until the potatoes are nice and tender, about 2-3 minutes more. Remove to a serving bowl. Garnish with fresh cilantro and done! Bon appétit!
*The garlic-ginger paste, so essential to Indian cooking, can be made very quickly using a blender. I am including this link to a recipe. You can make enough and freeze it for a later use.