Thursday, 21 August 2008

Bombay potatoes

Years back, my dear Friend H made a spicy potato concoction she called Bombay potatoes. Growing up in the UK, such Indian treats were commonplace to her, I guess, but we missed out on them Down Under. Anyway, it turns out that BP are so much part of the culinary fabric in the UK that you can even buy a packet mix at any supermarket!

I can't actually remember the last time I actually used a packet mix, but as you know, I do love to puddle about with spices in the kitchen. I like to think that this recipe is the real deal, but who really knows. It is another from India's 500 Best Recipes.

Talking about spices, when making recipes using quite a few, it is worthwhile measuring them out prior to starting the cooking so you'll then have them at the ready for adding at a moment's notice. Just be careful to keep spices that will be added at different times separate from one another (g).

Your potatoes will still be fabulous if you don't have onion seed (which I have yet to source here in Japan), and you could even skip the asafoetida (that stinky powder that also goes by the name hing). I don't add the dried chillies to keep the heat down, but the will add extra colour, if the heat is not a consideration for you. I chopped the onions finely this time, but this is also nice with the onions sliced thinly instead.

Bombay potatoes

For 4-6 as a side dish

2 onions
2 fresh green chillies
50 g fresh coriander
450 g new potatoes
1 tsp turmeric
60 ml vegetable oil
2 dried red chillies
6-8 curry leaves
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp each of cumin, mustard, onion, fennel and nigella seeds
lemon juice to taste [S: I used the juice of 1 lemon]

1 Chop the onions and chillies finely, and coarsely chop the coriander.

2 Scrub the potatoes under cold running water and cut them into smallish pieces.

3 Boil the potatoes in water with a little salt and 1.5 tsp of the turmeric for 10-15 min or until tender. Drain the potatoes well then fluff them up a bit in the dry pot over a low flame, then set aside.

4 Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the dried chillies and curry leaves until the chillies are nearly burnt.

5 Add the chopped onions, green chillies, fresh coriander and remaining turmeric to the pan, add the asafoetida, cumin, mustard, onion, fennel and nigella seeds. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft.

6 Fold in the potatoes and add a few drops of water. Cook over a low heat for about 10 min, stirring well to ensure the spices are evenly mixed.

7 Add lemon juice to taste, and serve immediately.


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