If you want a nice spicy potato dish, then consider Zeera Aloo, or new potatoes with cumin. Actually, you can make it as spicy or mild as you wish; just change the amount of cayenne pepper. We really like Indian-style food, and, since we had some taters sitting in the cupboard this dish was a no-brainer. Along with a couple of chapatis, you have a quick and easy meal.
We modified this recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick and Easy Indian Cooking. Basically we left out the cilantro (yuk), and made it better-sized for two people.
- 1 pound new potatoes
- 1/2 tsp plus 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, more or less, to tatse
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
Head off to your local ethnic market to buy the spices. Potatoes: we’ll only buy organic, since they are one of the most heavy sprayed crops.
Boil potatoes. Scrub up the potatoes and cut off any bad spots. Put in a sauce pan and cover with an inch of water and boil until tender. Then cool under running cold water and peel.
Heat oil. Put a skillet on medium-high and heat the oil until it shimmers.
Saute cumin seeds. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for about a minute.
Saute potatoes. Add the potatoes and stir until coated with seeds. Then cook, stirring occasionally, until they a lightly browned. We cut our potatoes into smaller, bite-size, pieces.
Add spices. Add the cumin powder, cayenne, salt, and garam masala to the potatoes and stir until well-coated. Cook for about 1 minute more to eliminate the raw spice flavor.
Serve. We had ours along with a couple of chapatis, but naan would go well here, too.
This dish can be as spicy as you would like, just vary the amount of cayenne. Overall, it is a really good dish, but we give it four stars because there are so many ways to use new potatoes, some even better. But, from time to time, we’ll be having these Indian home-fries.