Friday, February 24, 2012

Jeera (Cumin) Potatoes

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Jeera (cumin) potatoes is one of my favorite things to eat. My previous colleague Sunil's wife Vina makes Dosa (Indian pancakes) filled with Jeera Potatoes and it was super yummy. They actually packed me this dish to take with me when I drove moving from Atlanta to Knoxville. I was munching on them while drinking ice-cold Mountain Dew driving on the expressway on a Jeep packed to the rafters and with only a couple of hours of sleep. The treat actually forced me to nap in a rest stop halfway through the trip since the potatoes were very filling. The 5 hour drive was usually not a problem but the snack and the nap made the tedious trip due to my lack of sleep go a lot faster despite the break. On a side note, I used to stop by this gas station owned by an Indian couple in Chattanooga to buy a hotdog. They served the best hotdogs along that stretch of highway in my opinion. 

Anyway, before I get carried away with other side stories that have nothing to do with the dish, I'm presenting this recipe with some minor changes added to it. I toned down some of the spices knowing that I'm feeding a group of Americans and with all the rich food we have on the menu, it seemed a good idea to hold back on the intensity of flavors on some of them to offer some contrast to the palate.

Jeera Potatoes - Adapted*

2 lbs potatoes
4 tbs canola oil
2 tbsp ginger, peeled and finely diced
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded and diced
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper
cilantro to garnish

1. Peel the potatoes and boil in a large pot with enough water at medium
    high heat until cooked through. Drain and cut into 1-inch cubes. Set

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet and saute the ginger and cumin seeds over
    medium heat. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the jalapeno and cook for
    another minute.

3. Add the potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook the potatoes
    for about 6-8 minutes turning them over halfway through, allowing them
    to turn light brown and crispy.

4. Drizzle in the lemon juice and turn one last time. Add the cilantro and
    mix well. Serve right away.

*Vijayakar, Sunil: 30 Minute Indian, Laurel Glen Publishing, San Diego:2000.

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