Spicy Garlicky Potato Fry


The one vegetable that comes to mind when I think of comfort food is potato. I crave for some potato dishes when I am hungry; a simple potato curry along with rasam not only satisfies the taste buds but chases away the blues.

 No wonder this dish made its presence when I was hungry and wanted to eat some potatoes. I love the simplicity of this dish and reminds me of the baked potato fries, mainly because of the way the potatoes are cut. This dish uses lots of garlic and so has a prominent garlicky flavor and the hotness comes from using red chilli paste.

Ingredients  

  • 2 large potatoes
  • 5-10 garlic pods (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 5-10 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp jeera seeds
  • 2 Tbsp red Chilli paste (recipe below)
  • A pinch turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • Salt to taste 

 Method

  • To make red Chilli paste: Take 10-15 dried red chillies and soak it in little water for 2 hours. Grind the soaked chillies and make a thick paste without adding water. This can be stored in container for other uses.
  • Heat water in a sauce pan (this is to parboil the chopped potatoes).
  • Peel the potato and cut into strips just like you would do for fries. [The way I do this, is to chop the potato into circular discs 1/2 inch each and then cut through the discs and make long strips.]
  • Drop the chopped potato strips in the boiling water along with salt and continue to cook. Make sure there is a bite to it and that it is not over cooked. Drain water completely and keep aside.
  • Heat a heavy bottom pan and add about 1 Tbsp of oil. Add the mustard seeds, jeera/cumin and curry leaves.
  • Add chopped garlic and stir until it turns light brown,  followed by chilli paste
  • Now add turmeric and mix well and after the raw smell is gone, the boiled drained potatoes.
  • Stir well, so that all the mixture coats over the potatoes. Add little oil in intervals if the mixture turns dry and sticks to the bottom.
  • Alternately sprinkle little water over the potato mixture and mix thoroughly.  

This tastes good with Rotis, Phulkas, Puri or Rice. 

Soy Chunks / Meal Maker Chilli

At home we have been on-again off-again fan of the Soy Chunks also called as Soy Meal Maker. Nutrela is the Indian brand that makes this soy protein which has a meaty texture and is a good option for vegetarians. They are easily available in the Indian groceries. 

Years ago after I discovered a vegetarian version of soy protein and learnt its nutritional benefits I used to put it in just about anything be it pulao, fried rice, curries etc. Now that I remember, everything except for the smell was a plus. But then eventually we got tired of it, decided to give it a break and stopped using it altogether. 

Fast forward few years and now I am looking for way to introduce various nutritional foods to the kiddo. A colleague and I were talking about recipes for kids and the topic lead to the usage of soy chunks. That is when I bought a bag of these Nutrela Soy chunks from the Indian store. 

When I saw the recipe for Chilli Soy Chunks at Soma’s, I knew I had to try it. The kiddo loves Gobi Manchurian and all that was needed was to treat the boiled soy chunks as the equivalent of Gobi. Of course, I did not deep fry but made the sauce and tossed the boiled soy chunks into the gravy. The gravy that I made is a dry one as I did not add water to it.

Thanks for asking but more than the kid, the mom loved it and wiped the plate clean 🙂 

Adapted from: Chilli Soy Chunks @eCurry
Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked Soy chunks
  • 1 bell pepper/ capsicum chopped (any color)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped lengthwise)
  • 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • ½ tsp pepper powder
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp chilli flakes/hot sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Chopped coriander leaves
  • Salt (to taste)

Method 

  • Boil 4 cups of water, along with 2 tsp of salt. After it is boiled add the dry soya chunks to it and keep closed and let it sit for about 15 minutes.
  • The chunks would have puffed up by now. Drain the water and using hands squeeze out the water from the soy chunks. Keep aside.
  • Heat the oil in a pan. To this, add the sliced onions and ginger-garlic mixture. Fry on medium heat, then add the chopped capsicum and fry until cooked.
  • Draw everything to a side and add little oil. Add soy sauce, vinegar to this and mix well.
  • After it is cooked, add the ketchup and mix in the onion capsicum mixture to the cooked sauces.
  • Add the chilli flakes, pepper powder and the cooked soy chunks and stir well.
  • Cover with lid and let the sauces get incorporate into the soy chunks. Garnish with the chopped coriander. 

Serve this hot as an appetizer.

Quick Mushroom Fried Rice

It is not often that you would find recipes with mushroom in the RedChillies household. The reason being that the Chief Chef of the house (a.k.a me) is not a big fan of them. If I had my way then the mushrooms would not have seen the light of the day in our kitchen. J But it is not meant to be as the kiddo loves mushrooms and with all the motherly instincts/love intact I have no option but to cook with them and also get accustomed to the taste.

I have prepared a mushroom curry before and this time decided to try it in a rice dish as quick fried rice. This is such an easy recipe to prepare and gets done in no time. I got the idea for this rice when my colleague had brought mushroom pulao for lunch. She had blended cumin seeds, garlic and pepper for the base and that gave a unique flavor the dish. But I decided to take the easy route and just use garam masala and give the mushrooms some punch.

Mushrooms blend very well with spices like cinnamon and cloves. The flavor a of Garam masala stands out and makes this dish very fragrant. If you do not like mushrooms then you could substitute with other vegetables of choice like brinjal, capsicum, tindora etc.

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice (uncooked) [basmati is preferred]
  • 8-10 button mushrooms
  • 3-4 green chillies slit
  • 1 big onion
  • ½ tsp crushed black pepper corns (optional)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 1″ cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 Tbsp Oil
  • Salt

Method:

  • Clean the mushrooms with damp cloth and chop them. Chop the onion lengthwise. Keep aside.
  • Cook the rice separately either on stove top or pressure cooker using enough water. Make sure it cooks well and grains are separate and not mushy.
  • Take a big plate and spread out the rice, add little oil, salt and mix.
  •  Take a big skillet, add oil on medium heat. Add cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon and mix. Add the ginger paste, garlic paste and fry again.
  •  Add the chopped onions and stir until it slightly cooks. Now add the chopped mushrooms, green chillies and continue to stir.
  • After it is cooked, add the garam masala, crushed pepper powder and mix until it is neatly coated.
  •  Add the rice and mix thoroughly. Cover the lid and let it cook for a while. 
  •  Serve hot. Tastes delicious as is or with side of raita.