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Indian Potato Recipe

Indian Potato Recipe
Potatoes and Leeks

Apologies for not giving this Indian potato recipe a more descriptive name, but I just don't have one. I seem to remember some Indian potato and leek recipe from somewhere but I can't find it now. I think it might have been in Aroona Reejhsinghani's The Art Of South Indian Cooking , a small very plain book with few illustrations but loads of authentic South Indian recipes.

I guess this could be considered another recipe for Aloo Bhaji but I use leeks instead of onions and some different spices. It seems altogether a bit creamier and I seem to remember that this is a Sri Lankan dish but in anycase it is really delicious,

Basic Ingredients

3 or 4 Medium potatoes.
2 leeks
2 cloves garlic
1 inch (2.5cm) root ginger
3 large plum tomatoes (200gm tinned tomatoes)
Coriander leaves to garnish
Oil for frying

1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teasoon fennel seed
teaspoon turmeric
About 6 curry leaves
Pinch of asafoetida

Notes on Ingredients

Potatoes. As with a number of indian potato recipes, the slightly waxy potatoes are best, these cook to soft without disintegrating.

Chillies. To your own taste, probably 1 or 2 medium strength chillies in this, less if you go for stronger chillies or like it milder. Options are to use chilli powder if you don't have fresh chillies or what I like is about ½ teaspoon dried chillies.

Oil. Ghee or mustard oil are best. Rapeseed or sunflower oil are ok.

Basic Method

Roast the coriander and fennel seeds for a minute or two and then grind to a powder
Peel the outer leaves from the leeks, halve lengthwise, then cut into ½ inch (1cm) slices.
Peel and crush the garlic.
Finely chop the chillies if using fresh ones.
Chop the ginger into very small cubes.
Peel potatoes and cut into ¾inch cubes.
Chop up whatever tomatoes you are using.

Heat the oil in a frying pan.
Throw in the cumin seed and asafetida and fry till the seeds start to pop.
Put in the leaks and garlic and fry gently till soft.
Add the turmeric, ground spices and chillies or chilli powder.
Continue to fry for a couple of minutes.
Add the potatoes and fry, stirring them about for a minute or so.
Add the tomatoes and curry leaves, and mix in.
Add some water if necessary to give a good base to cook the potatoes. Turn down the heat, cover and cook for about ½ hour until the potatoes are soft. You may need to add more water occasionally if it gets too dry.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve

Notes on Method

If you are using mustard oil then heat it till it just starts to smoke before cooking; other oils should not smoke but be hot.

You can parboil the potatoes in a steamer or microwave if you wish. This will cut down the cooking time considerably.

This Indian potato recipe could be used as a main dish with plain rice and chutney or it could be used as a side dish for some meat dish. As a main dish these quantities would serve 2 people, probably 4 as a side dish.

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