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.

Methi Besan Sabji

Around this time of the year (Fall/winter) we get good and fresh methi/fenugreek leaves, dill in the groceries and I make good use of that. I am not too fond of the frozen fenugreek leaves, as I feel that they do not have the same flavor and so I look forward for the arrival of the fresh ones. 

Few people I know do not like the intense or bitter cooked taste of the methi, but fortunately we love it at home and so I get an opportunity to try different recipes with it.

This methi besan sabji was one of my favorites and that which my mom used to make often when we were kids. I love the simplicity of this dish, with just basic ingredients yet has a flavorful taste. 

Here are some recipes using Methi that I have blogged earlier: 

This might be a little dry for chapathis (unless you serve it with a salad or raita), but tastes good with yogurt rice.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup gram flour/besan
  • 10-15 spring onion stalks (chopped)
  • 1 small bunch Methi/fenugreek leaves
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 3-4 green chillies
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • Salt to taste 

Seasoning/ Tadka:

  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2-3 garlic pods (grated)
  • 4-5 Curry leaves
  • oil

    Method:

  • Dry roast the besan flour on medium flame until it toasts and turns light brown. Keep aside.
  • Wash the methi thoroughly, cut and discard the thick stems. Retain only the leaves and the thin/soft stems. Chop finely.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, asafetida, curry leaves. After the seeds splutter, add ginger garlic, mix well, and then add the slit green chillies andchopped onions.
  • When the onions are nearly cooked, add the chopped methi leaves, chopped spring onions and keep stirring until the raw small of methi is gone.
  • Add the roasted besan, salt and stir well. Be careful as the besan sticks to the bottom.
  • Keep stirring in between until the besan blends and cooks.  ( I do not cover the lid for this sabji).