Spicy Bengali Potatoes

all sorts of spuds:

D from Adelaide called me on the phone the other day asking me if it was ok if he wrote out one of his favourite recipes from my book ‘Cooking with Kurma’ to give to a friend. Not only did I say it was ok, I even sent him an electronic version of the recipe.

D. wrote back:

“I’m blown away by the fact I was able to talk to you on the phone. I’ve been a friend of yours in spirit since I first saw your TV series on SBS years ago and I couldn’t get a copy of your book fast enough. I fowarded your email to my friend T. Thank you for imparting the fruits of your life’s work. No doubt you have brought a bit of happiness into the lives of lots of people. That works out to a lot of happiness, over all.”

That made me me feel very happy. Here’s the recipe, by the way:

Spicy Bengali Potatoes

This is a delicious, dry-textured potato dish with multi-levels of subtle flavours. Avoid over boiling the potatoes.

PREPARATION AND COOKING TIME: about 20 minutes
YIELD: enough for 4 persons

500g washed small new potatoes
2 teaspoons chopped, fresh ginger
3 fresh green chilies, seeded and chopped
1⁄2 cup yogurt
2 teaspoons coriander powder
2 teaspoons salt
1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1⁄2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons ghee
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
10 fresh curry leaves
1⁄8 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1⁄8 teaspoon clove powder
1⁄8 teaspoon cardamom powder
3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves.

Place the whole potatoes in a large saucepan of water. Bring to the boil over full heat and cook the potatoes until they are just tender. Drain the potatoes, cool them a little, and peel them. Cut them into 2.5cm (1-inch) chunks, and set them aside in a bowl.

Drop the chilies and ginger into a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the yogurt, ground coriander, salt, black pepper, turmeric and sugar, and process again. Pour and scrape this mixture into the bowl of cooked potatoes, and carefully mix well to combine. Set the mixture aside to marinate for 10 minutes.

Heat the ghee in a large pan or wok (preferably not a non-stick pan – hard to get a crust) over moderate heat. Sprinkle in the cumin seeds. When they darken a few shades, add the curry leaves, stir briefly, then add the potato mixture. Stir the potatoes carefully through the spices, and pan-fry for 5 minutes, or until they are dry and crusty.

Sprinkle in the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom powders. Mix well, sprinkle with chopped fresh coriander leaves and serve hot.
Posted by Kurma on 30/10/08; 11:17:03 AM

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