Monday, April 27, 2009

Potato Masala

Millions of Americans love to sink a fork into the mealy, fluffy pleasure of mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving. (Sorry turkey. It's really all about the sides.) The rest of the year, potatoes are treated as a bother. Who takes time to cloak them in foil for baking? Or they are branded with a scarlet C - CARBS! However the real health risk may lie in the way they're commonly consumed - as sky-high mountains of fries or prairies of hash browns, loaded with grease? Egads!

As children, we ate baked potatoes once a week, as a side dish with barbequed beef. It was my dad's contribution to family meals. My mom used them in potato masala. On occasion, she paired the masala with dosa (a sour crepe made of lentils and rice flour). However, we usually ate it with chapathis (whole wheat flat bread). If you want to reignite your passion for potatoes, consider trying her potato masala recipe included below. It provides flavor, which we all crave, without all the grease.

2009 Cardamom Kitchen LLC All Rights Reserved

Serves 6 to 8


2 tablespoons canola oil
1/8 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 tablespoon urad dhal
2 cups diced onions
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 small jalapeno, cut lengthwise
1 cup chopped tomato
3 cups thinly sliced Russet potatoes
3/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


Heat the oil in a saute pan on low heat. Add the mustard seeds and cover. When mustard begins to pop, add the urad dhal. Cook unil the urad dhal turns brown.

Increase the heat to medium. Add the onions, ginger, and jalapeno and stir. Cook until the onion become translucent.

Stir in the tomato and cook until it begins to soften.

Add the potatoes. Cook for 3 minutes.

Add the water, salt, turmeric, and stir.

Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until the potatoes are tender (about 15 minutes).

Remove the jalapeno. Gently stir in the cilantro.