For the love of aloo
Crispy baked potatoes is a healthy way to eat potatoes. Photo: Bhavna Kalra
We love our aloo to death! You may not take my word for it, but if you see how we Punjabis eat our aloo ke parathe (flatbread stuffed with potatoes), read slathered with white butter, you will realise it is true. Also, our hips don’t lie if you know what I mean.
And if our bellies were not satisfied after a stackful of these parathes, we will cook other things with it. Aloo mutter (peas), Aloo gobi (cauliflower), Aloo tikki (cutlets), Dum aloo and what not. Our lives revolve around aloo and we really don’t mind.
Maybe the fact that the humble spud is such a versatile vegetable, we just can't have enough of it. There is a lot to be said about the charm of a deep fried potato. It can brighten any dish and can make your dinner look more exotic. It is a must-have vegetable in my kitchen too. I honestly don’t care about how carbs are bad for the body or the amount of calories a potato has. I cannot imagine a life that doesn’t have my aloo and that’s it!
My favourite trick in the kitchen on days when I just have a boring dal or nothing at all is to do something with potatoes, and it never disappoints. And one of the best ways to bring out the beauty of these babies is by baking them in their skins. Back home we would typically fry them, but while I don’t care about calories, I avoid deep fried food. Hence, baking the potatoes works beautifully. The skin becomes crisp and golden, and the potatoes roasted to perfection are a treat.
There is no real recipe for my Crispy Baked Potatoes, because I usually use my judgment with the species. But one key ingredient to this dish is lots of freshly chopped coriander. The way it lifts these potatoes to new heights of glory is indescribable. And if you want to make them even more exotic then drizzle some yoghurt mixed with a little water. Trust me, you will thank me.
Recipe for Crispy Baked Potatoes
12 - 15 baby potatoes
1 tbsp vegetable oil (I used rice Bran oil)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 green chillies finely chopped
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp freshly chopped coriander
1 tsp amchur (dry mango powder) or chaat masala
Salt to taste
1. Boil the potatoes till done and drain away all the water. Meanwhile preheat the oven at 180 degrees C.
2. Put the baking dish straight on the gas on a low flame (the baking dish should be conducive to be used on gas or you will have a disaster on your hands). Add the oil and cumin seeds.
3. Add salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, salt and green chillies in the oil.
4. As soon as you start smelling the masalas, turn off the gas and put the potatoes straight in the dish. Crush them slightly with your thumb and then gently toss them in the pan so they can be coated evenly with the masalas.
5. Bake them for 20 to 25 minutes until golden and crispy.
6. Serve them hot with lots of freshly chopped coriander and amchur or chaat masala.
A Girl from Mumbai, Punjabi by birth and foodie by nature, Bhavna's life revolves around food. After finding some very questionable Indian food in Perth, Bhavna decided to start cooking and blogging about the food that she loves. Her blog is her extension for her love for her passion for food.
Follow Bhavna on Instagram @justagirlfrommumbai