Almond Potatoes

Hey, don’t scroll past this because it sounds weird, okay? It’s my most reliable quick potato recipe & always gets demolished. Yeah, you don’t think of almonds as one of those things that go with potatoes, do you? It was a bit of a happy accident, this one. It was originally a Madhur Jaffrey recipe that called for sesame seeds, not almonds, but one evening I found myself without sesame seeds halfway through the recipe, and so grabbed the only other seedlike thing in the house. It was a very pleasant surprise. Honestly, having made it both ways, it’s better with almonds than sesame seeds.

2 lbs. potatoes (I usually use russet-types but they all will work fine)
2 t. whole cumin seeds
1/4 t. whole fenugreek seeds
2 t. black mustard seeds
6 T. vegetable oil (this is the original amount called for – you can go easy on this if you want – I do)
1/8 t. asafetida
red pepper flakes
2 T. sliced almonds, chopped (or not, if you’re lazy or in the middle of three other recipes)
1/4 t. ground turmeric
salt & pepper
1/2 t. amchoor (ground dried mango powder. What, you don’t have it?!? Okay, a sprinkle of lemon juice will about get you there.)
1/4 c. chopped cilantro

Boil potatoes, whole or in chunks, according to size, in heavily salted water. Drain well and allow to cool a bit. Dice if necessary. Measure out all the spices. Heat the oil until hot but not smoking and put the spices in in this order: cumin, fenugreek and mustard first. Allow them to cook until the cumin seeds change color and the mustard seeds pop & turn gray. Add asafetida, chili flakes and almonds, quickly & fry briefly, then add turmeric & diced potatoes. Turn the heat to medium-high. Stir & fry the potatoes for 5-10 minutes, until they start to pick up brown spots. Add the salt, pepper, & amchoor. Stir & fry for another 5 minutes, until there are definite brown spots on them. Sprinkle cilantro over & serve.

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