Indian food…mmmm! I admit I have a crush. And it’s actually a crush on spices and enhanced flavors that I’m infatuated about. Although my eyes haven’t dropped on any reliable health claim on the methods of heating up the spices, my experience is that as long as it’s not oil & starch overloaded and of course, not in big quantities (which can be a bit tricky due to the typical thali ‘refill’ 🙂 traditional Indian food feels good in the body.
So let’s have a look at how spices can add up to such a common dish as potatoes.
First of all, any introduction to Indian cooking involves getting acquainted to chillies, onion, garlic, ginger, coconut & a lot of whole and ground spices. And subsequently to frying them at high heat in a drop of oil (not always, but most usual). The order in the pan starts with the tougher spices (cinnamon bark, star anise, cloves, black pepper, dried red chillies), followed by the seeds (mustard, cumin, fennel, coriander, nigella, etc) so by the time they start popping, they can all be incorporated with the onions (together with fresh chillies, garlic, ginger and so on). One must pay a lot of attention not to burn the spices, at least until the onions step in. The last ones to come are the ground spices, the powders (turmeric, cumin, coriander, different masalas, etc)
Once you develop the skills, you can start playing 🙂 Here I used a combination of black mustard, cumin, fennel & nigella seeds with chilly flakes, onions, ground turmeric and cumin. When the base was getting ready – the onions turning yellowish – I added the new potatoes, previously halved and boiled in salted turmeric water. Cook everything together for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Now bring some European touch to it 😛 chop some fresh coriander, spinach or spring onions and peel some carrot slices to balance the taste and make it look even better!
list of ingredients
- (new) potatoes
- mustard seeds
- nigella seeds
- fennel seeds
- chilly flakes (fresh ones as well)
- ground turmeric
- ground cumin
- cooking oil
- fresh coriander/ spinach/ spring onions/ carrot