Thursday, March 3, 2016

Chile Potatoes

There are days when I resort to the tried and true recipes and there are days when I shy away from all that I know and go down the path not taken. Today, I walk along the former fork. On occasion I have made a tongue-tingling potato with Asian flavors, a little bit of chili garlic paste, some ketchup, a squirt of Sriracha, scallions, tons of ginger and garlic and sesame seeds. Have I got your spice buds going? Having tasted these Indo-Chinese fusion potatoes in Bombay, I have experimented vigorously to replicate them. What strikes you first is the intense red tones the potatoes take on. Fried first, the potatoes are dunked in a chile flavored sauce that gives them their distinctive color. As far I as I know these spicy potatoes were invented in an adventurous Indian kitchen, far from the borders of China. But then hybrid concoctions always taste good.

Serves 4

5-6 large Potatoes 
5 tablespoons Canola Oil 
2 tablespoons minced Garlic
1 tablespoon minced Ginger
4 Scallions 
2 tablespoons Tomato Ketchup 
2 tablespoon Chile Garlic Paste or more if you like it spicier
2 tablespoons Sriracha 
3/4 cup Chicken Stock 
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt 
Several grinds of Black Pepper 
1/2 cup Cilantro 
2 tablespoons Toasted Sesame seeds 

Put potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water and boil till just about done. The tip of a knife should slide in with a little resistance. Drain and cool. Peel and cut potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes.

Heat 4 tablespoons canola oil in a nonstick saucepan.

Fry potatoes in batches till golden brown. Drain on paper towels. 

Slice scallions thinly using white and green parts. Keep a tablespoon of scallions aside for garnishing.

Heat remaining oil in the same saucepan.

Add garlic, ginger, and scallions. Stir for a few minutes till fragrant.

Stir in ketchup, chile garlic paste, Sriracha and chicken stock. Let sauce simmer a few minutes.

Season with salt and pepper.

Drop potatoes into sauce, mixing well so sauce coats potatoes.

Let potatoes hang out for a few minutes in sauce, over a low flame.

Scatter cilantro, sesame seeds and scallions over potatoes before serving.

Tried and tested recipes are faithful companions. What's not to love about potatoes swimming in a garlicky chile sauce. Sesame seeds give it a slightly nutty taste and cilantro an herbal freshness. Indian spice mixed with Chinese accents..these potatoes are the sum of all their borrowed parts.