Spicy Potatoes Masala
Spicy Potatoes Masala is a deliciously flavorful way to eat potatoes. I first tried this dish at a fantastic Indian/Sri Lankan restaurant called, Dosa Garden, in Staten Island, NY. Completely smitten by the flavors, I hounded the owner to share the recipe with me. He gave me the general ingredients, and this is the version I created after a little experimentation. I think it comes pretty close. While Kandi, from Dosa Garden, uses oil when he prepares this dish, this is an oil-free method.
- 3 medium Yukon gold potatoes diced, skins on, about 1 1/2 lbs
- 1 medium to large red or yellow onion chopped
- 15 leaves curry 1 or 2 stems. (or more)
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds (can be any color)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup toasted cashews
- cilantro for garnish
Transfer diced potatoes to a medium sauce pan with a lid. Put in enough water or vegetable stock to come halfway to the top of the potatoes (1/2-1 inch, depending on the size of your saucepan). Bring to a rapid boil. Reduce heat and cook at a low boil until fork tender.
Heat your sauté pan and add chopped onions. Stir. Add curry leaves, cumin seeds, and mustard seeds.
Sauté, frequently stirring, until onion is translucent. Add 1/8 cup water, turmeric, black pepper and chili powder.
When potatoes are fork tender (most of the water should have boiled away), drain, reserving liquid. Add to onion mixture. Toss all ingredients until completely covered with the spicy onion mixture.
Mash mixture with a potato masher. If the potatoes feel a little dry, add a little of the reserved potato water, one tablespoon at a time.
Fold in cashews.
Garnish with cilantro leaves.
Spicy Potatoes Masala calls for curry leaves, which I purchase at my local Indian market. You can buy a curry plant as a houseplant. It takes a couple of years to mature to the point you can harvest the leaves, but you will eventually have a ready supply of curry leaves and a lovely plant to enjoy in your home! If you do not have this fresh product available in your area, you may certainly substitute garam masala or Indian curry powder. If you do make this substitution, you can eliminate the turmeric because it is an integral part of these curry blends. Serve hot as a side dish as a filling for Utthappam (Indian Potato Pancakes), or as a filling for Swiss Chard Rolls. Spicy Potatoes Masala is also delicious served cold as a potato salad.