I grew up in a household where potatoes were cooked on a slightest cue for any meal of the day. We always had boiled potatoes ready to go in the fridge. My grandmother's kitchen was pure vegetarian and dishes made with the humble spud were a staple similar to most Indian homes.
I picked a bag of baby potatoes from the store the other day and I had a few ideas in my mind. Brutal summers are raging here in Las Vegas and yogurt based curries are my go to on most days. They are light and refreshing to eat.
For this sauce, I made a dried mint scented yogurt sauce.It has notes of fennel and cardamom. I didn't fry the potatoes before adding them to the sauce, however you can do so if you would like. The sauce is rather thickish. It pair beautifully with flatbread and a side of chutney or pickle.
Recipe (Serves 3-4)
For the Potatoes
- 12-15 baby potatoes
- water for boiling
- 1 green cardamom + 2 cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the Sauce
- 1 small onion, roughly chopped (don't use too much onions else the sauce will turn sweet)
- 4 fat garlic cloves
- 2 inch fresh ginger
- 8-10 whole raw cashews(optional)
- ½ cup plain full fat yogurt
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- 1.5 teaspoon dried mint
- 1.5 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 tablespoon ghee or any neutral cooking oil
- 1 inch cinnamom stick
- 3 green cardamom
- 2 cloves
- ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2-3 thai bird chillies, slit (or to taste)
- 1.5 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder (or to taste)
- Salt to taste
In a large pot, add the whole spices to water and bring it to a boil. Add the washed and scrubbed potatoes and add to boiling water. Cook on high heat for about 8 minutes till the are 80% cooked. Drain, discard the spices and let potatoes cool down. If you wish you can leave them skin on, I peel them. Set aside. Note- If you wish you can pan fry or deep fry the cooled potatoes, I did not.
While the potatoes are boiling, in another pot, add the onions, ginger, garlic and cashews, add ½ cup water and let cook for about 5-8 mins on medium heat till the onions are soft. Tip everything into a blender jar, make a fine paste. Keep aside.
In a small bowl, mix yogurt with sugar, dried mint and garam masala. Set aside.
Note- All the above steps can be done a day in advance.
Lets begin cooking the sauce.In a heavy bottom kadai (indian wok) or a cooking pot, warm up the ghee on low medium heat. Temper with cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. Cook for 20 seconds. Immediately add the fennel and cumin seeds along with green chillies and let them crackle for a few seconds.
Add the onion paste. On medium low heat, stirring, cook the paste for 5-7 mins or till you start see oil separating but the color of paste should not change much.Next, add the coriander & red chili powder, saute for a minute. Add the potatoes now and stir around to cover all the potatoes in the onion masala. Reduce the heat to low and keep cooking potatoes while stirring with the onion masala for 3-4 minutes.
Add the beaten yogurt to the pot next. Immediately start mixing and continue for 2-3 minutes so as to avoid yogurt from curdling. Slowly you will see that yogurt forms part of the masala. Check and adjust the salt. We will continue to stir for few more minute till yogurt is warmed through. Slowly you will see fat from the yogurt separating in tiny bubbles.
Add ⅓ cup to ¾ water next to the pot (depending on the sauce consistency you prefer). Mix around, let come to a slow boil and cover the pot. Let simmer for 10 minutes on low heat till the potatoes are cooked through.
Let sit for 20-30 minutes before serving with pooris or however you like 🙂