If you love spicy food and Indian pickles, this is the perfect recipe for you. This unique recipe combines tender potatoes with spices usually used to make Indian pickles. This North Indian dish is a delicate balance of spicy flavors combined with sweet, sour and tangy tastes.
Fenugreek seeds are a common spice used in Indian cuisine; they have a very distinct and pungent flavor. They are also very important ingredient in Indian pickles. Alternatively, Kasoori Methi or dried fenugreek leaves may be used in this recipe. Fenugreek seeds, fenugreek powder and Kasoori Methi are all easily available in any Indian grocery store.
½ lb of potatoes (Yukon Gold works well)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1” piece of ginger, peeled and finely minced
2-3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and finely minced
1 tsp turmeric
¼ tsp fenugreek powder (or 1 tsp Kasoori Methi)
1 tsp red chili powder, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2-3 dried red chilies
1 tsp cumin seeds
pinch of asafetida (hing)
½ cup white vinegar
3-4 tbsp of oil (canola or vegetable)
freshly chopped cilantro for garnish
Peeling the potatoes is purely optional, it is up to you. In a large pot with salted boiling water, cook the potatoes until fork tender. Drain well, let cool and cut into large pieces (about 1.5 inches in size). Set aside until needed.
In a large deep skillet or wok on medium high heat, add 2 tbsp of the oil. When hot, add the onions and stir fry until golden. This may take awhile (about 6-8 minutes), so be patient. Add the ginger and garlic, stir fry 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the spices (red chili powder, turmeric, salt, pepper, and the fenugreek powder or Kasoori methi). Stir well to combine and add the potatoes. Carefully stir to coat the potatoes in the fragrant spices. Add the vinegar along with ½ cup of water, reduce the heat and let simmer for 4-5 minutes. The potatoes should be soft and tender but not mushy. Taste and adjust any seasonings, then transfer the potatoes to a serving platter.
In a small saucepan on medium high heat, add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil. When hot, carefully add the mustard seeds. When the popping subsides, add the cumin seeds along with the dried red chilies and pinch of asafetida. Remove quickly from the heat and very carefully pour this entire mixture over the potatoes. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves and serve with fresh rotis and fragrant Basmati rice.
You can use this basic recipe with your favorite vegetables, paneer, chicken, meat or any combination. Note that cooking times will vary accordingly.