In these days of carbs on the outer, potato curry with rice might seem like the most ridiculously over the top idea, piling carbs on carbs, and yet potatoes with some sort of grain, pasta or bread have an extensive and delicious history! Think potato pizza, Masala Dosa, Eastern European potato dumplings, potato pie, or the classic Pasta Genovese. I assume their popularity in these dishes is largely because they’re cheap and readily available, but their relatively bland flavour, and flexible texture depending what variety you use and how you cook it, mean that they are also great base for other flavours. They combine equally fabulously with herbs, spices, cheese or pesto above, and that’s ignoring the many, many options when you combine them with hot oil…(hot chips, latkes, and potato doughnuts just to name a few)
This curry is, by comparison, incredibly easy to make, requiring just frying a few spices, adding the potato, then covering with water and simmering until tender. You may have tried the classic Indian potato dishes such as saag aloo, aloo gobhi, or aloo matar (potatoes with spinach, cauliflower, or peas respectively), but this is even simpler, though I’m sure it would be lovely with any of these added with the potatoes.
This was a common dinner in my childhood, another easy dinner for seven, quickly thrown together from the 20 kg sack of potatoes under the kitchen bench, and finished off with plentiful homemade yoghurt. We had it with rice, as I suggest below, but it would also be great scooped up with chapatis or other flatbread, and as with most curries, it’s great the next day as leftovers.
You could also, and I’m just thinking this as I write, puree the whole lot once tender and make a lovely spiced potato soup, served of course with plenty of bread 🙂
- 6 medium boiling potatoes
- 3 Tbs oil or ghee
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin seed
- 1/2 tsp mustard seed
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp chilli powder (optional)
- 500ml water
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 125g Greek or full fat yoghurt, plus extra to serve
- handful fresh coriander to serve
Peel and dice potatoes into approximately 2cm cubes. Heat oil or ghee over low heat in a medium saucepan. Add salt, cumin, mustard, turmeric, and chilli if using, and cook gently for a couple of minutes. Add potato, increase heat, and cook for a minute until potatoes are coated in oil and spices. Add water, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partly covered, until potatoes are tender and dissolving slightly around the edges. Add coriander and yoghurt, and cook briefly until heated through.
Top with chopped fresh coriander and yoghurt, and serve with brown or basmati rice.
Serves four generously