Tag Archives: potatoes

Mrs. Kaur

Jaahaan’s mom, Mrs. Kaur is visiting from Delhi for a few weeks. I don’t know why she would visit Syracuse in January with all this snow when the weather in Delhi is balmy and wonderful. I’d been hearing stories about her mom’s obsession with PNC, so I asked for a cooking lesson and Mrs. Kaur gratefully obliged. When I arrived at Jaahaan’s apartment Mrs. Kaur  already had all the spices set out, the vegetables diced, and was ready to go. It was like entering into the Indian version of Everyday Italian with Giada. Pretty much a dream come true.

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This is all Mrs. Kaur has to work with. One saucepan, one skillet and a rice cooker. And I learned that the basic ingredients in any Indian dish are tomatoes, onions, maybe some ginger garlic paste, and some spices. Really the most essential spice is a garam masala mix. Just goes to show that Indian cooking isn’t hard. All you need is a pot, some vegetables, and a spice mix and you are cooking like a true Desi lady. Most of the ingredients used can be found in the International isle at Wegmans. Some of the more obscure items, like amchoor powder, can be found at Kashmir Grocery on Erie Boulevard.

PANEER CURRY

1/4 cup onion paste* |||| 1 teaspoon garlic ginger paste |||| 3/4 cup tomato puree |||| 1 teaspoon salt |||| 1/2 teaspoon turmeric |||| 1 teaspoon garam masala |||| 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder |||| 1 teaspoon chili powder |||| 1/2 cup diced green pepper |||| 1/2 cup diced onion |||| 1 1/2 cups milk |||| 1 package fried paneer

*To make the onion paste: mix diced onions in a blender or a food processor until an onion paste forms. Then briefly saute the paste in a skillet with some oil until the paste turns light brown. The onion paste will keep in the fridge for up to a month.

1. Heat vegetable oil in the bottom of a medium-sized pot. Add the onion paste and garlic ginger paste and saute for about 2 minutes.

2. Then add the tomato puree and spices. Allow the mixture to cook for another 3-4 minutes.

3. Add the milk, green peppers, onions, paneer, and 1 /2 cup of water to the spiced tomato puree mixture.  Allow the mixture to boil until the curry thickens and the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

POTATOES with MUSTARD SEEDS

1 teaspoon mustard seeds |||| 2 potatoes, peeled, boiled, and diced |||| 1 small onion, cut into thin strips |||| 1 teaspoon garlic ginger paste |||| 1/4 cup tomato puree |||| 1 teaspoon salt |||| 1/2 teaspoon amchoor (dried mango powder) |||| 1/2 teaspoon turmeric |||| 2 teaspoons garam masala |||| 1 teaspoon dhania powder (coriander seed) |||| 1 teaspoon chili powder

1. Heat a few teaspoons of vegetable oil in a skillet. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. Beware! The mustard seeds will pop. Stand back so you don’t shoot your eye out. Allow the seeds to cook for about 30 seconds before adding the onions.

2. Once the onions start to turn brown add the tomato puree and the spices. Allow the onions to cook with the spices for another 3-4 minutes.

3. Then add potatoes and 1 cup of water to the skillet. Allow the mixture to cook until the water is totally evaporated.

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Econ homework and a plate of Indian food for dinner.

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This kitty only speaks Hindi.

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A+ Fries

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6 red russet potatoes |||| 1 cup flour |||| 1 tablespoon each oregano, salt, and pepper |||| 1 teaspoon chili powder |||| 2 cups olive oil

1. Chop the potatoes into french fry shape. Leave the skins on.

2. Mix flour and spices in a large bowl. 

3. Toss the diced potatoes in 1/2 cup of the olive oil. Then toss in the flour mixture.

4. Heat remaining olive oil in a deep skillet. When oil is hot, add the potatoes in small batches. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until fries are golden and crispy. Remove from oil, sprinkle with salt, and dunk in some ketchup.

 

Last weekend, Angie’s roommate Dave made us some french fries. All week I was thinking about making my own fries and how I would do it differently. Dave’s fries were really good, he put old bay seasoning on them, but honestly these fries are way better. Dave’s fries get an A, but these fries get an A+.

The secret is in the spiced flour breading on the outside. It gives the oil something to stick to and makes the fries extra crispy. You could really kick up the spice mixture and make these more like Cajun fries if you added more chili powder. Or you could add some garlic or onion powder. Oh, and Parmesan cheese would be so so decedent . . . crispy, cheesy fries. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.

In terms of cooking these A+ Fries, change the oil after 2 batches of fries. And make sure that the oil is hot before adding the potatoes. Otherwise, the recipe is pretty easy. Well, the clean up kinda sucks and it makes the house smell like a deep fryer. But its a small price to pay for golden, fried goodness.

Dana, Jeff G, and I had these fries with sloppy joes (or untidy Josephs as Dana’s mom calls them). We pretended that the sloppy joe mix was Manwich even though it was just the lame-o Food Club brand.

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get smashed

MASALA SMASHED POTATOES

1/2 cup white onion, finely chopped |||| 1/2 cup green pepper, finely chopped |||| 1 can diced tomatoes |||| 2 tablespoons Shahi Paneer Masala spice mix |||| 4 red potatoes

1. Saute onion and green pepper until tender. Then add the tomatoes and spice mix to the skillet. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until the mixture thickens.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes, diced into large chunks with skins still on. Boil the potatoes until they are soft and tender.

3. Combine the curry mixture into the potatoes and smash them together. Add a little bit of milk or chicken broth to make the potatoes more creamy.

 

Standin around in my kitchen, making expletives out of the letters on the fridge, everyone ate the paneer chunks out of my leftover curry. (Paneer is cheese cubes that function like tofu in many Indian dishes.) This was Indian cuisine at its finest – cold leftovers eaten straight out of the pan with Tostitos chips. I’ll call it college Indian.

Any how, now I have just the leftover tomato/onion/green pep mix. Oh, and this curry was super spicy because I had a ditsy moment and added waaaay too much of the spice mix. In order to dull the intense spiciness I was planning on adding roasted potatoes to the leftovers, but the smashed potatoes ended up being a great last minute call. The recipe posted here is sort of a guess at how to make these mashed potatoes when they aren’t leftovers.

But that’s the thing about Indian, once you get familiar with the spices, its so easy to make. And I think its kind of healthy. Although a lot of dishes contain butter or cream, most are packed with veggies. This recipe is just too easy and delicious to pass up. If you can’t make it out to the Indian store for the masala mix, just substitute with curry powder from the grocery store.

 

ROASTED GARLIC and BACON SMASHED POTATOES

1/2 head of roasted garlic |||| 4 slices of bacon, chopped |||| 5 red potatoes |||| 1/4 cup sour cream |||| 1/4 cup milk |||| 2 tablespoons butter |||| salt and pepper to taste

1. Directions for roasted garlic here.  

2. Boil potatoes.

3. Fry bacon.

4. Smash everything together.

 

Okay, so this isn’t the most creative recipe ever. But damn, these potatoes are fine.

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