The humble potato. Be it french fries, aloo gobi, hash browns, gnocchi, mashed potatoes or chips, potatoes have consistently given us amazing crowd pleasing dishes. Potato Karacurry is yet another crowd pleaser albeit with a misleading name! Kara means spicy and curry; well, I’m not sure why it’s called curry since it’s certainly not one, but when I pointed it out to my grandma she got annoyed and told me to stop asking silly questions.
This is a very easy recipe with very simple ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen. Potatoes, salt, chilli powder and asafoetida, that’s all! However, as any dedicated Masterchef viewer would know, it’s always the simple recipes that have the potential for disaster!
Potatoes are boiled and then pan roasted on a low flame till they get deliciously crunchy. This is achievable hugely because of the Wonderchef Non-Stick Granite Pan. Everybody needs a good set of non-stick pans. They’re undoubtedly the set you use the most in your house so it makes sense to invest in quality products. The Wonderchef Granite Set includes a wok, a frying pan and a dosa tawa; three essentials that will complete your kitchen. I particularly love the cool grey palette since it complements my kitchen and looks so wonderful in pictures!
On a more functional note though, the granite pan worked perfectly for this recipe. A thicker pan like this, with multiple layers means it takes longer for the heat to reach the surface of the pan by which time it would have distributed evenly across the entire surface. I was able to roast these potatoes to perfection without losing any crispy bits to the pan! The pan also has a good amount of weight to it which makes it super sturdy.
The potatoes are pressure cooked before pan roasting and this is what gives them their distinct flavour. Well, this and the ton of asafoetida you’re going to add! You don’t want to place them directly in water though, so I like to play them in a bowl and then put it in the pressure cooker. I have the Easy-Lock Pressure Cooker which has the easiest lid you’ll ever find on a cooker! You can place it any way you like and simply turn the knob to lock it in place.
Now that you have all your equipment sorted out, let’s move on to the potatoes. This recipe works great with regular potatoes or if you don’t mind the extra effort of peeling them, even baby potatoes. There are a ton of karacurry recipes out there, most including mustard seeds, curry leaves, besan and types of dal but I’ve stripped this recipe down to a more basic version. This recipe is reminiscent of roast potatoes; cleaner but with a distinctive South Indian flavour. It goes best with South Indian curd rice, sambar rice, rasam rice and is particularly tasty when eaten piping hot straight out of the pan!
Serves: 4 servings
Time: 45 minutes
- 2 large potatoes (about 500g)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp asafoetida
- 1 ½ tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp salt
- Wash and clean the potatoes.
- Make a large slit down the centre of each potato but do not cut them all the way through.
- Pour some water into the bottom of a pressure cooker and place a cooker-safe bowl in the centre.
- Place the potatoes into the bowl and close the pressure cooker.
- Pressure cook on high until the first whistle and then bring the heat down to low and cook for 10-15 minutes more or until the potatoes are soft but not falling apart.
- Allow the pressure to release before opening the cooker.
- Let the potatoes cool* before cutting them into 1 inch cubes.
- Place a large non-stick pan** on medium heat and add the oil to it.
- While the oil is heating, measure out the chilli powder, asafoetida and salt and keep them ready***. Add the spices and salt to the hot oil and mix really well to distribute everything evenly.
- Add the potatoes and toss really well to make sure each piece is coated in the oil and spices.
- Roast on a medium-low flame for about 10-15 minutes until they’re crispy and delicious!
- Serve immediately and Enjoy!
- Hot potatoes are hard to handle safely and will fall apart when you try to cut them.
- Make sure the pan is large enough for the potatoes to form a single layer.
- Once you add asafoetida to the hot oil it will clump up pretty quickly. Keeping your spices ready will give you more time to mix it properly.
Author: Sneha Sundar is the creator of You Dim Sum, You Lose Some; a philosophy she adopts both in and out of the kitchen.