My French word of the day is “Pomme de terre” or Potato in simple English. Translated it means Apples of the earth and I think that name is totally appropriate.
Every culture in the world has its own potato variation and I like potatoes of all shapes and sizes..baked, fried, boiled, mashed you name it. Back home in India, potatoes are cooked with any and every vegetable possible- spinach, green beans, peas, green bell peppers to name a few and all kinds of meat. This weekend I celebrated potatoes and made two different basic versions that were cooked in my home.
Recipe-1 Fried Potatoes.
Chop the Potatoes into small chunks. The thicker the chunks, the longer they will take to cook.
Add Cumin seeds to hot oil. Let splatter. Splattering is what infuses the flavor of the seed into the oil and it is important that the oil is hot enough. My mom says she can taste “raw oil” if you add the cumin or mustard seeds in cooler oil that does not splatter but I cannot tell the difference to be honest.
Add chopped potatoes. Let them cook in oil for a minute or two.
Add turmeric and salt to your liking at this point.
Potatoes will cook to be crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, much like french fries. Remember to keep a steady flame throughout the cooking process, if you put it on sim the potatoes will become soggy.
10 seconds before removing the potatoes , add red chilli flakes to your liking.
fried potatoes can be served with boiled rice and some lentil curry or mor-curry (yogurt-curry)
Recipe-2 Puné Potatoes
I call them Puné potatoes because I had this style of potatoes in a place called Puné. I don’t know the real name for this recipe.
Boil the Potatoes till soft, peel and cut into eighths. Basically the potatoes are cooked and all that remains is to season them.
To one table spoon oil add Mustard seeds, Green chillies- split lengthwise and curry leaves.
Add turmeric and salt to the hot oil and immediately add Boiled potatoes. Turmeric can burn in oil and give a bitter taste so be very quick.
Mix it up and smash the potatoes as you do but don’t fully mash them !. Turn off the heat. 10 mins to boil and 5 minutes on the cook-top and delicious potatoes are ready to serve. I usually serve these with poori – a type of fried bread or roti (flat bread)
Tip – Potatoes absorb salt and you might need to add more salt as compared to other vegetables
Trust me by simply switching two ingredients – cumin seeds and red chilly flakes with mustard seeds and green chillies- and two cooking methods – frying v/s boiling – you would get two different flavors for your potatoes.