Spiced potatoes

I could never give up potatoes in any form that they come in. Be it roast potatoes, chips, mashed potatoe or curry. Just never, just thinking about it is making me crave for Rocco mama’s loaded fries, which of course due to Covid 19, they aren’t making. So sad I tell you.

As an Indian, a curry just isn’t a curry if there isn’t a potatoe in there. Can you imagine, chicken curry without potatoes, or mutton curry without potatoes, or puli curry without those big up to date potatoes or potatoe curry without potatoes. Potatoes make a dish or just imagine biryani without potatoes, whose going to dig deep into the biryani pot, wanting the last potatoe???

Just don’t ask me what the difference between up to date and normal potatoes are. I have zero idea, my take on buying potatoes, is either Woolworths, which is a perfect size bag. Meaning that there are no frot potatoes at the bottom of the bag before I actually make it to the bottom of the bag. Recently my dad has started buying pockets of potatoes for me. Which is kind, but by the time I make it to the bottom, there is already frot ones and ones that are growing stems.

Again if you ask me, have I eaten and up to date, I will say I have no idea, because I literally have no idea. All I know from various watsapp group messages and family members is that up to date is very expensive and it cooks very quick and it’s sort of like a mielie potatoe. Another thing I know about this UTD potatoes, is that Indian Aunties have black belts and will whip your ass if you take the last pocket and don’t offer it to you elders first.

Back to potatoes, I love roast potatoes. But I always make it the same boring way, boiling till soft, draining, seasoning well and then tossing it in with the roast to roast till nice and crispy. My dad hates roast potatoes, apparently it scratches the back of his throat, but his boring and acting like his 90. When you make biryani you can’t add roast potatoes otherwise he won’t eat it, my mother is like me, she loves roast potatoes.

While spring cleaning my room, I came across Sabrina Ghayour’s recipe book “ Feasts.” At first glance, nothing really appealed to me, but then I came across a recipe for spiced potatoes with a yoghurt and turmeric dip and I was like this is my new favourite book and I could not wait for Sunday to come around so I could make these.

The recipe asks for a handful of standard pantry ingredients, the only thing I substituted was the recipe asked for fresh turmeric, I used turmeric powder which I had in my cupboard and even if I didn’t, I could just borrow some on my mother’s. Turmeric is a staple in any Indian household. If you don’t have turmeric in your cupboards or your prayer room, then you are not Indian. That is a given fact.

The verdict, my mother loved it, and she liked the accompanying dip. My father, he ate one and coughed through the entire meal. Rubbing his throat and drinking hot water and sucking halls afterwards. Apparently the potatoe scratched the back of his throat and now it was raw. I don’t think I could have rolled my eyes any deeper in my head that I did when I saw him sucking halls and acting 90, all he was missing was his slippers, gown and a walking stick. Indian men I tell you. The older they get the more stubborn they get.

All in all, I could eat this dish, every day and for every meal and then lock like Mrs Potatoe head when the world runs out of potatoes.

Ingredients for the potatoes:

  • 7 x potatoes, washed and halved.
  • Zest of 1 lemon.
  • 1 x tbsp olive oil.
  • 2 x tsp cumin seeds.
  • 1 ½ x tsp red chilli flakes.
  • 1 x tsp black pepper.
  • Oil for deep frying.
  • Salt for seasoning.

Ingredients for turmeric yoghurt:

  • 1 x cup x plain yoghurt.
  • ½ x tsp olive oil.
  • 1 x tsp turmeric powder.
  • Thinly sliced garlic and roughly chopped mint leaves to garnish.

Method for the potatoes:

  • Parboil potatoes till almost soft and cooked through.
  • Drain and toss to remove any excess water.
  • Pat dry and place in a bowl.
  • Add the lemon zest, cumin seeds, olive oil, chilli flakes and pepper.
  • Give it a good toss so that the potatoe halves are evenly coated.
  • Deep fry in the vegetable oil, till golden and nice and crispy.
  • Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen towel.
  • Season generously with salt.

Method for the turmeric yoghurt:

  • Place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together till well combined.
  • Garnish the potatoes with the garlic cloves and chopped mint before serving.

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