I am a big fan of potato salad, it‘s deliciously creamy and just a lovely simple dish. It’s a wonderful mix of both textures and flavors; the perfect side dish to accompany any outdoor meal especially grilled foods. Best of all, potato salad means that summer is just around the corner. This is my version of potato salad with an Indian twist, of course.
Personally, I prefer to use baby new potatoes for this dish. Either the baby red potatoes or the baby Yukon Gold potatoes will work fine, even a combination of the two varieties will work well. Depending upon their size, I just halve or quarter the potatoes. Needless to say, I don’t bother peeling them. Just give them a good scrub and you’re good to go, but by all means, feel free to peel the potatoes if you so wish.
POTATO SALAD, Indian Style
1 lb of baby new potatoes, boiled in salted water until fork tender
3 large shallots or 1 small red onion, finely diced
1 large garlic clove, peeled and finely minced
1 small green Thai chili, finely minced (to taste)
2-3 fresh curry leaves
½ tsp black mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
pinch of paprika (either smoked or sweet variety, both work well in this dish)
pinch of asafetida
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
salt & pepper, to taste
juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
2 tbsp oil, vegetable or canola
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
In a soup or stockpot, add the potatoes with enough cold water to cover. Starting the potatoes off in cold water ensures even cooking throughout the entire potato. Add a generous pinch of salt and bring to a good boil. Let cook until just fork tender, drain well and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Do not overcook. Set aside until cool and then cut into half or quarter wedges depending upon their size. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add just 1 tbsp of oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Toss gently and set aside.
In a large deep skillet on medium heat, add the other tbsp of oil. When hot, carefully add the mustard seeds. When the splattering subsides, add the cumin seeds along with the curry leaves and asafetida. Stir fry for a few more seconds and add the shallots and garlic. Sauté lightly for a few minutes until the shallots have just softened. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
To the potatoes, add the mayo, sour cream and freshly grated nutmeg. Gently fold into the potato mixture. Add the slightly cooled oil, shallots and spice mixture. Lastly, add the cilantro leaves and carefully mix to incorporate all of the ingredients. Sprinkle with paprika and garnish with a few extra cilantro leaves. Serve with Tandoori chicken, your favorite kebabs or any grilled meal.
Feel free to make this dish completely dairy-free & vegan-friendly by simply omitting the mayonnaise & sour cream.
I find that some freshly chopped dill works equally well in this dish, use it in place of the cilantro. Feel free to add some coarsely chopped toasted peanuts or cashews for a delicious nutty flavor and crunchy texture to the dish. Also, some lovely green peas or finely grated carrots will add a burst of color and flavor. Just sauté along with the shallots for 2-3 minutes, let cool and add to the potatoes. If you prefer a stronger Indian flavor, add a little curry powder or garam masala to the shallots when cooking.
You could also try making this recipe using sweet potatoes for an equally delicious dish.