Category Archives: Potato

JFI Potato- Potato studded with cumin and crushed pepper.



Familiarity breeds contempt. We see it all around us. I think that is what is happened to the potato. Take a lot at these sayings and tell me if I am wrong.

A couch potato — someone who is glued to the TV and never exercises

He’s a cold potato. — someone who is not warm-spirited

Small potatoes — not much

Hot potato — a problem nobody wants to deal with ( Link)

Potato has never been a favorite in our home. We usually buy one or two when we need it. Anytime we bought any extras, they are left to sprout or shrivel, as the conditions in the kitchen permit. Inevitably, they end up in the garbage( the extra ones).

When JFI was announced, I bought 4 idaho potatoes. And after a consultation, this dish came alive.

Recipe :

Boil potatoes in salted water till cooked. Slice into quarters.

Spread cumin onto a surface. Take a potato slice and press the slice onto the cumin gently.

The cumin will attach to the potato. Fry this with the cumin side down on medium heat.

Remove from fire using tongs. Sprinkle salt. Serve warm.

I also applied red pepper on some potato slices.

To make things a little more happening, pour the remaining oil with bits of cumin and crushed pepper over the potatoes.

Serve as an appetiser with some chutney or as a side dish.



Head over to to Vaishali’s Happy Burp in Pune to give dear potato some well deserved show of affection!

Potato thoran- potato with shredded coconut.



Potato is a common and indispensable vegetable in most kitchens. At my home this didn’t hold true. The only time my mother cooked potatoes was in sambar. Sometimes in a potato gravy curry to go with appam. The reasons for not using potatoes was never discussed much – ‘gas’ being one of the issues.

My classmates would bring potato dishes galore to lunch and one of my favorite things was the masala that goes with the poori. For me in those years, the aloo masala dish was the best dish that was around. But couldn’t get that home. I tried many times to make the dish by myself, but I couldn’t recreate the colour and the taste. I have pretty much given up on the idea that I can recreate that dish.

This weekend we had gone to Philadelphia to stay with our friends and brought back some home made Kerala style fish curry. Coming home after class yesterday, I couldn’t think of anything to make for lunch to go with the fish. Mostly because there were no veggies at home and I was too lazy to go to the store. There were couple of potatoes starting to sprout in the kitchen and I decided to make something out of it. For me, the best accompaniment to a fish curry is a thoran. My choices for thoran were very very limited and so the obvious choice was potato. A quick look at my mother’s old cookbook confirmed that such a dish existed.


Step 1:

Potatoes – 2 large, diced.

Onion- half of a large onion, diced

Shredded coconut- 3/4 to 1 cup

Chilies- I used about 12 small ones. ( I was pairing it with a spicy fish curry, so adjusted the chilies for a small amount of heat. You can add more or less to your liking)

Salt- 1/2 tsp or adjust to taste.

Combine all the above. Use a spoon or your hands to mix.


Step 2:

Oil 2 tbsp

Mustard seeds 1/4 tsp

Curry leaves – one sprig, tear the leaves

I used a non- stick pan to cook this dish. Non stick pan is better as the potato doesn’t stick to the pan at all.

Heat the oil. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. When the seeds start spluttering, add the curry leaves.

Follow that with the potato-onion- coconut mixture. Mix well to combine with the oil. Cook covered. Be sure to stir it every few minutes or just toss the pan . After about 10-15min the dish should be ready.

Check potaotes to see if they are cooked. Serve hot with rice.


The cooking time depends on the potatoes. I didn’t have to add any water. But if the potato takes long to cook, sprinkling some water and cooking it covered should help. ( I haven’t done this, but just thinking this might help)

Recipe source:Desperation and Lalitha Pachakam ( Malayalam cookbook by )

Time spent in the kitchen: 30mins.

Autumn salad


Salad was never a big deal when I lived in Kerala. It was just a part of the lunch or dinner that I never paid much attention to. It was usually an onion,tomato cucumber salad or a cabbage salad. That was all the salads I knew back then. Things really did take a turn when I came here. Although I am still not salad obsessed, I do try to learn new salads and dressings. One of the food culture shocks in moving from India to US was seeing people eat leaves raw- raw spinach? I don’t know about you, but for me spinach was always had cooked. Oranges and apples in a salad with veggies? Although by now I have come to accept these food traditions, they completely blew me away at first.


This salad was really refreshing and the warm potatoes make it perfect for fall.

Recipe source: The Naked Chef, Page 71.

Ingredients and method:
Red skinned potatoes or new potatoes 5-6, wash well.
Avocado – 1 ripe
Sprouts- 1 handful ( I used broccoli sprouts)
Olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the potatoes in boiling water. Add salt to the water. When tender,drain the water.
Slice the avocado into thick slices.
If potatoes are small,leave whole. You can cut the larger ones into halves.
Put all the above in a bowl, splash the olive oil,lemon juice. Add salt and pepper.
Enjoy warm for fall.

Jamie recommends it with chicken or fish.

Oven roasted potatoes with Indian spices


This dish was born when I decided to make a side for the lamb chops.

The method is as simple as it gets. Quarter the potatoes. Spread them on a baking sheet or an oven proof dish. Add an onion cut into thick slices. I used a cast iron pizza stone to bake these . Then crush some dried red pepper, black pepper, coriander seeds, cumin seeds ( not too much cumin seeds ) and sprinkle on the potatoes. Sprinkle salt drizzle some olive oil and bake in a preheated oven till the potatoes are done. Just before serving, sprinkle some coriander leaves.

I also added some thin sliced tomatoes along the sides of the baking dish for some oven roasted tomatoes. They wer absolutely delicious and this was a no brainer dish.