Some of us, when given the chance, cannot stop eating french fries. For others, it’s potato chips. For us, it’s aloo fry. These potatoes get their flavor from a bouquet of spices that build into the crispy crust formed on the cut edges. They are a perfect compliment to hot rasam & rice, and are a comfort food that our mom and grandmother made often at our request. This is just one of many ways potatoes can be prepared for a South Indian meal, so look out for more recipes inspired by the cooking ladies in our lives!
We used a small crate of white potatoes from the farmers market, but any small potato will do.
Make sure to rinse your potatoes before chopping. If you’re using small potatoes, just cut them in half. Otherwise, with larger potatoes, cut them into 1 1/2 inch pieces and make sure they are cut similarly for even cooking!
As you’ll see in many South Indian recipes, heat the oil in a pan until hot and then add mustard seeds until they start to pop or sputter. Then add the spices into the hot oil, which flavors the oil that will eventually coat the potatoes. Also note that more oil will increase the crispiness of your potatoes, so it’s up to you how far you take it for the crunch.
Then, a sizzling celebration of potato and spices. Make sure you stir the potatoes well, so that the oil & spices coat each potato. A word of warning: if the potatoes are still a bit wet from being rinsed, be careful as you drop them in oil as the excess water + hot oil tends to cause mini-explosions.
This is what the potatoes will look like after having roasted for some time; crispy and browned on the outside, and so soft on the inside. We noted a big difference in fresh potatoes from the farmer’s market vs. the standard potatoes from our local store, so if you have the option, go fresh. They absorbed the flavors straight through to the center, instead of simply capturing the flavor in the exterior shell. Enjoy!
- 1 lb of potatoes
- ¼ tsp of turmeric
- ⅛ tsp of asofoetida
- 1 tsp of red chili powder
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- Salt to taste
- 4 tbsp canola oil
- Rinse potatoes and cut into 1.5 inch pieces or in half, if they are small potatoes
- In a large pan, heat oil
- When oil is hot, add mustard seeds
- When mustard seeds start to pop, add the spices and salt
- Immediately add potatoes and stir so oil coats the potatoes
- Turn down heat to medium and add ¼ cup water and cover, stirring occasionally
- After water is entirely absorbed, check potatoes to see if they are soft, if not, repeat previous step again
- When potatoes are softened, take cover off and continue to cook potatoes for 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes achieve desired crispiness
- Check salt and add as needed