Sunday, May 4, 2014

Indulging A Craving--Potato Subji





I crave the crisp crunch of a well formed dosa. I yearn for a bowl of spicy sambhar to dip my crisp dosa in. And I need some bright yellow potatoes to fill the crisp dosa, that sits in a pool of spicy sambhar. The first two are ready in a jiffy. Store-bought dosa batter ferments on my countertop. Shortcut Indian-made sambhar is just a defrosted moment away. But the potatoes, that takes planning. Since the craving hits home swift and hard, I quickly set a pot of Yukon Golds to boil.




As I wait for the potatoes to cook, I retrieve all the accoutrements of dosa making. A special convex dosa pan that comes all the way from India, a pan I use ONLY for dosas. A small amount of oil in a bowl, to drizzle over the hot pan. A stainless steel ladle that doubles as a batter pourer and a dosa spreader. A non stick spatula to flip the crisped dosa. All these are assembled to make dosa making a snap.

Impatiently, I peel hot potatoes, literally playing the game! A quick, rough chop and they are ready for the pan. Hot oil gets a spluttering of mustard seeds and curry leaves. That bright yellow color develops with a heaped spoon of turmeric. Turmeric, with its numerous healthy qualities, adds color and flavor and stains my hands relentlessly. Fresh cilantro dresses up potatoes. The sizzle in the pan tells me it is time to stuff the dosas.


POTATO SUBJI
Makes enough for 15 dosas


8 medium sized Yukon Gold Potatoes
3 tablespoons Canola oil
1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
15 fresh Curry leaves
1 Onion
2 slices Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
2 Green Chiles
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
Juice of 1/2 a Lime
3/4 cup Cilantro


Boil potatoes. Cool, peel and chop into rough chunks.

Peel and chop onion into small pieces.

Trim chiles and cut them into thin slices.

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat.

When the oil shimmers, add mustard seeds letting them pop and splutter.

As the seeds pop, drop in curry leaves, onion, ginger, turmeric and chopped green chiles. Stir to mix.

Add potato chunks and stir to coat potatoes with spices.

Season with salt and lime juice, cover and cook for 5 minutes. 

Chop cilantro and add to potatoes. 

They are ready to be used as a filling for the dosas.

You can stuff the dosa with a heaping spoonful of potatoes and roll it up in a traditional manner or serve the potatoes alongside, accompanied by sambhar. You get to decide!




The dosa pan gets a workout as I scurry making golden brown, lacy rounds. Everyone has their favorite way of eating these crispy delights. I like mine rolled up like a crunchy wrap, ready for its spicy dipping sauce. No time for chutney or podi. Just enough momentum to get past my craving and indulge in one of my favorite South Indian staples.