I’ve never really been a potato person. In fact, I’ve always considered the potato’s popularity a direct result of its ability to get something else delicious into one’s mouth (cream, butter, vinegary ketchup). I do, however, think that potatoes are a great candidate for transformation into something wonderful, if you’re willing to spend just a little more time with them.
This classic Indian-style preparation for potatoes is uncomplicated yet incredibly flavorful and the optional addition of my brightly flavored chutney takes these taters to another level. Serve these potatoes with spicy green chutney alongside any piece of grilled meat or roasted fish for a complete and colorful dinner. The leftover potatoes are even better in the coming days as the flavors continue to meld and mellow.
For the Spicy Green Chutney:
1 C. of green mango cubes (Green is an indicator of unripeness. The mango should not be rock hard, however, but just barely soft)
1/4 C. red onion, roughly chopped
1 serrano chile, split in half (I removed the seeds from one of the halves to cut down the spice a little)
juice of 1 lime
1/4 C. of unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 C. coconut milk
1 small bunch cilantro, bottom half the stem removed (2 lightly packed cups)
handful of fresh mint leaves (25 or so)
pinch of sea salt
Place all of the ingredients into a food processor and puree until well combined, scraping down the sides once or twice as necessary. Store tightly wrapped in the fridge for up to 4 days.
For the Bombay Potatoes:
2# small waxy potatoes (reds, Yukon Golds, new potatoes)
4 Tbsp. ghee or butter
half a medium onion, thinly sliced
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 C. diced tomatoes and their juice
Place the potatoes into a large pot of cold water over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 10-15 minutes or until they are tender when pierced with a fork. Drain in a colander and let cool slightly while starting the sauce.
Warm 2 Tbsp. of the ghee or butter in a wide saute pan over medium heat. Saute the onion for 3 to 4 minutes or until very soft. Season generously with salt. Add the ginger and all four spices and mix thoroughly, allowing the spices to toast for about 30 seconds. Pour in the tomato and allow the sauce to simmer lightly while you peel the potatoes.
The potatoes should be cool enough to handle at this point. Rub the potatoes gently to slip off their skins. If your fingers are sensitive, use a kitchen towel to hold the potatoes while you peel away the skin. Place the peeled potatoes onto a cutting board and halve or quarter them into bite-sized pieces, depending on their size.
Place the peeled and cut potatoes into the pan with the tomato sauce, add the remaining 2 Tbsp. of ghee or butter and sprinkle generously with salt. Mix everything together thoroughly until the potatoes are well-coated with the sauce. If the pan is dry, add a few tablespoons of water to prevent burning.
Taste for salt (potatoes need quite a bit) and serve with the Spicy Green Chutney. Add a bowl of cooling plain yogurt on the side.