Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Pan-roasted baby potatoes

I love miniature potatoes - especially pan-roasted. They were not always available at the local market when we were kids, so it was good fun when they were being sold. I would help pick out the roundest, smoothest potatoes, trying to keep them as much of a size as possible. Once they were washed and scrubbed of all dirt, my mother would roast them in a big wok with the skins on. As far as I was concerned, the skins were very nearly the best part of the potatoes - slightly crisp, spicy and sort of tight, resisting being bitten into for just a fraction of a second before giving way.

Cooking baby potatoes this way means that the usual tempering of mustard seeds and urad dal would not "stick" but just rattle around at the bottom of the wok, getting burnt - so I evolved my own tempering powder. This time I was a bit lazy (and short of time) so I used the
molagapodi I'd made earlier, but usually I make the tempering powder separately. It's worth it.

Recipe for:
Pan-roasted baby potatoes


1/2 kilo baby potatoes, skin on
Salt to taste
2 tbsp oil

For the tempering powder:
1 tsp chana dal
1 tsp urad dal
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2-3 red dry red chillies (optional)

1 tsp gram flour
1 tsp rice flour

1. Roast all the tempering ingredients (other than the gram flour and rice flour) until the chana and urad dals are a light golden brown. Set aside to cool.

2. When cool, grind them all to a powder that is the texture of coarse sand. Mix with the gram flour and rice flour.

3. In a wide pan, heat 1 tbsp oil. Add the potatoes and stir to coat. Cover and let cook for 10 minutes on low, or until the potatoes are just done.

4. Take off the lid, sprinkle on the prepared tempering powder and salt to taste, and mix well. Turn up the heat to medium-high and pour over the remaining tbsp of oil.

5. Let the potatoes roast, stirring occasionally to ensure they crisp evenly and dont burn.

6. Serve hot as a side with rice and any sambar/kuzhambu.


Shalini said...

I always took the pain of removing the skins from them...for the fear of taking the risk... now with u r idea i gain the confidence to go ahead and do it with the skins...(saves time and seems tasty tooo)

Anonymous said...

Dear Shammi,
been a while.. hope u are doing ok.

I wanted to thank you for the Chayote squash (Bangalore kathirikkai) kootu recipe that you posted in nov. I tried those yesterday and my family loved it.
Thanks once again.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shalini, cooking potatoes with skin is good because the nutrients are just below the skin.

Raji - you're most welcome, I'm glad you all loved it! :)

Ashwini said...

Hey glad to know there's one more of my ilk who likes the skins. Esp the baby ones taste super with them than without. I didnt know the podi could be used in veges. Thanks

ammani said...

I've always been torn when it comes to skinning baby potatoes. For me it's one of life's big dilemmas. Right up there along with the debate on death penalty. After all these years of turmoil, I'm glad I've finally found a recipe that sides with my instinct. Yay! :)

lost in thoughts said...

Skinned roasted potatoes...simply yummy. I think I will make it as side for a big pancake breakfast ;).

Anonymous said...

hey shammi,

Is he is your husband. Nice couple. He must be enjoying indian food.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anon, yes that's my husband in the photo. And yes, he enjoys Indian food - not ALL of it, but most of it :) He doesnt enjoy chillies, though!

BDSN said...

Hey Shammi..
Did I tell you that I tried your Chayote Squash kootu and that it came out great..Well it did..But I just used moong dhal instead of channa dhal.
BTW ur picture of baby potatoes looks good and i will try this recipe sometime..

Mika said...

Looks yummy! The difficult part is getting even sized whole potatoes. I like fennel a lot in south Indian cooking and your powder has it. I am sold!!!

rums said...

hi shammi! thanks for visiting my blog. you can check out more of my daughter's pics at

Anonymous said...

roasted baby potatoes, yummy!!! I LOVE your idea of powdering the spices so that they will stick. I too have the problem of the spices burning at the bottom of the pan! This looks like a wonderful solution.


Priya said...

wow , they look great. I love potatoes in any form.Baked, mashed, deep fried, pan fried, oven roasted, in curries. Rasam rice and hot potato fry are my all time favourite food , theres really nothing like it. And shammi thanx for sharing the recipes. U can do the same method for taro root, steam 'em and do the same procedure.

Kitchenmate said...

Great idea of adding tempering powder. I used to scrumble idli and use the milagaipodi to make idli upma and it tastes yummy. I am definitely going to try this:)

Anonymous said...
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Cyndi said...

I too like the idea of making a powder --this could be done with all kinds of spices. How about just cayenne and garlic? Oh, the wonderful ideas for roasted potatoes!

Sujatha said...

I tried your recipe, the recipe flavor was really good. Though I think the next time I do the recipe, I will microwave the potatoes a bit to make sure they are cooked...otherwise I end up adding too much oil or burning the masala. :(