Monday, October 13, 2008

Roasted Potatoes with North Indian Spices

I have been craving these potatoes ever since the last time I made them (which was for my friends Reena and Lisa). Spicy and bursting with flavor, they are everything I love about Indian food. Crispy on the outside and wonderfully tender on the inside, these are absolutely delicious; the flavors unravel in your mouth as each spice reveals itself. These are some seriously bold potatoes. So since I just happened to have bought some fresh mint last weekend, and since I still have some cilantro left from my carrot soup, tonight was the night for these. At the same time, however, I did not want to have a dinner comprised solely of a giant bowl of potatoes. So I got a little creative and used some yellow lentils to make myself a dal to go along with them. I used most of the same spices that the potatoes call for, and it turned into a deliciously thick stew-like consistency. It was dense enough that you could eat it with naan (if you can eat naan, that is). The potatoes and lentils were wonderful together, and if you like spicy, you will love this.

Roasted Potatoes with North Indian Spices

3 1/2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
3 pounds small red potatoes, quartered
1 3/4 teaspoons black mustard seeds
6 dried red chiles
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala
Cooking spray
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint (optional)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (optional)
8 lime wedges (optional)

Preheat oven to 400°.  Combine 1 tablespoon oil and potatoes, tossing to coat. Set aside.

Heat remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons oil, mustard seeds, and chiles in a large skillet over medium-high heat; cook 1 1/2 minutes or until seeds begin to pop. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add ginger, garlic, and jalapeño to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in salt, turmeric, and Garam Masala; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add spice mixture to potatoes, tossing to coat. Arrange potato mixture in a single layer in a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 400° for 25 - 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender, browned, and crisp, stirring every 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro, mint, and juice, if desired. Serve with lime wedge.

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