Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Curried Potatoes

This recipe is particularly delicious at this time of year through early fall, when there are fresh potatoes and fresh hot peppers to be found, but it's good at any time. I can't remember what book I got the inspiration from, but I've been making this dish since before I moved out of my parents' house. It was a standard at university, and it continues to be my favourite way to eat potatoes. I'm including some standard measurements, but I'm pretty lackadaisical when it comes to adding ingredients. It changes every time. I've been very specific about the slicing of the jalapenos because this way they add the best texture, but the jalapenos are optional if you're not a fan, as is the coriander. The lemon juice, by the way, makes the whole dish. It really brings out all the other flavours. So while many of the other ingredients are fungible, the lemon juice really isn't.

I cook this dish in our wok, which is big enough for vigorous stirring and transfers heat very nicely, but a good big frying pan does the trick too.

Curried Potatoes

4-6 potatoes (I prefer russets, but any boiling potato will do)
1/3 cup oil
1/2 tsp. mustard seed
a few curry leaves (or 1/4 tsp. curry powder and pinch turmeric for Very Yellow Colour)
1-2 jalapeno peppers, sliced lengthwise in eighths and then sliced crossways in 3mm chunks
1 tbsp. ketchup
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. chile powder
1/2 tsp. cumin powder
lemon juice
chopped fresh coriander

Cut potatoes into 1 inch cubes, leaving the skins on (they're delicious in this dish), boil until tender, and drain well.

While potatoes are draining, heat the oil over medium heat. Add mustard seed, curry, jalapenos, ketchup, salt, chile powder, and cumin. Sautee for 1 minute or until spices are fragrant. Be careful not to overcook/burn the spices. 1 minute is really all it takes.

Add the potatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring. Add lemon juice to taste (I wouldn't go higher than 1 tbsp. to start), stir until well combined. Add coriander to taste, stir and serve.

Makes 3-6 servings, depending on how hungry people are, and stores well in the fridge for next-day reheated leftovers. Some people might suggest this is only a side (ie., we had this with hamburgers last night) but they would be wrong. This was my full lunch today and it was perfection.