Spices and Seasons – Back to School Bengali Spiced Potatoes

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Bengali Spiced Potatoes with Cuban PeppersAs we are all settling into our back to school routines, the weather seems to be nodding us to a cool direction, in my house, I have a newly anointed middle schooler who gets to school 20 minutes earlier. The good news is that I finally get to make the early train that I all but gave up on last year, but the bad news is the entire household is adjusting to the new time shift. All of this calls for the comfort of my favorite tuber – the potato. This is not just any potato however, it is a newly dug up fresh from the earth kind of potato grown by yours truly. It is cooked with comforting spices and perked up with some chopped peppers making it quite perfect for the season.

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Well folks, my approach to gardening is just like my cooking spontaneous and by the seat of my pants. Earlier in the year, I had a russet potato that had begun sprouting from being kept around too long. Organic potatoes will do that if you do not use them soon enough, rather than just compost it, I dug a hole and planted it in the corner of our yard aka the Curry Garden. Of course, true to form I then forgot about it leaving my husband to take care of it with the rest of the stuff.

Well, it grew and grew throwing our leaves and beautiful white flowers and then one fine day it began to dry out letting us know its life was coming full circle. With much trepidation this weekend with the kids in tow we went a digging. Well, Daddy and Mommy russet had produced a group of bonnie baby russets all seven of them. Newly dug out, these creatures looked like almost nothing covered in mud. I was beside myself with delight.

I had to cook them right away; I mean within an hour of harvesting them I had these potatoes that used to be classic childhood fare. My grandmother would make these with new winter potatoes that were quite a treat, with their thin skin and almost sweet taste. We would enjoy these soft and gently spiced wonders with crisp fried bread. I did skip the crisp fried bread saving them for another day when life permitted a little more leisure in terms of term. Now, while I did use the new russets for this recipe, if you are actually going and seeking out the potatoes I would recommend the red skinned potatoes (and cook them skin on) or the smaller Australian crescents that are all beginning to fill the baskets in the farmers markets and the season begins to change.

Bengali Spiced Potatoes

I added in some thinly chopped Cubanelle peppers, a sweet variety of peppers also a part of the autumn offerings this year. These peppers are also known as Cuban peppers and their thin walled mild taste makes them a great match for these gently seasoned potatoes.

Spices and Seasons – Back to School Bengali Spiced Potatoes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

A gently seasoned dish with fresh potatoes and crisp Cuban peppers.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and diced (about ¾ pound)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¾ teaspoon powdered cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon powdered coriander
  • ½ teaspoon red cayenne powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cubanelle pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • Chopped cilantro to garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil and add in the nigella seeds and wait until they sizzle (usually within 20 seconds).
  2. Add in the red onion and saute until the onion softens and begins to turn crisp at the edges. This will take about 4 minutes and will occasional stirring.
  3. Add in the potatoes and mix well. Add in the turmeric, cumin and coriander and mix well.
  4. Stir in the red cayenne powder and the salt, cover the pan and let it cook for about 7 minutes on low heat.
  5. Remove the cover and add in the peppers and increase the heat and cook for another couple of minutes. The potatoes should be soft and golden and the bell peppers should be tender crisp.
  6. Add in the fresh lime juice and stir in the chopped cilantro.

Notes

If you are using organic red or blue potatoes you might want to leave the skin on.

http://food.lohudblogs.com/2014/09/09/spices-and-seasons-back-to-school-bengali-spiced-potatoes/

 

Bengali Spiced Potatoes with Cuban Peppers

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

2 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon nigella seeds

1 red onion, thinly sliced

4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and diced (about ¾ pound)

½ teaspoon turmeric

¾ teaspoon powdered cumin

¾ teaspoon powdered coriander

½ teaspoon red cayenne powder

¾ teaspoon salt

1 Cubanelle pepper, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Chopped cilantro to garnish

Method of Preparation

  1. Heat the oil and add in the nigella seeds and wait until they sizzle (usually within 20 seconds).
  2. Add in the red onion and sauté until the onion softens and begins to turn crisp at the edges. This will take about 4 minutes and will occasional stirring.
  3. Add in the potatoes and mix well. Add in the turmeric, cumin and coriander and mix well.
  4. Stir in the red cayenne powder and the salt, cover the pan and let it cook for about 7 minutes on low heat.
  5. Remove the cover and add in the peppers and increase the heat and cook for another couple of minutes. The potatoes should be soft and golden and the bell peppers should be tender crisp.
  6. Add in the fresh lime juice and stir in the chopped cilantro.
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About Author

Rinku Bhattacharya, the Spices & Seasons blogger, loves meshing seasonal produce with fresh spices. Most of her recipes are inspired by her Indian heritage, and her cooking is practical, easy and well suited for a busy lifestyle on the go. As a mother with two young children, her recipes are also usually balanced and kid-friendly. Rinku is the author of the blog, Spice Chronicles (formerly,Cooking in Westchester), where she shares her life experiences and original recipes. Rinku is blessed with a gardener husband, who always surprises her with a prolific and fresh supply of produce to keep her creative instincts flowing. Rinku has been teaching recreational cooking classes for the past nine years. Rinku is the author of two cookbooks: The Bengali Five Spice Chronicles an award winning (Gourmand 2013) cookbook that highlights culture, memories and recipes from her childhood transformed where needed for her Lohud kitchen and Spices and Seasons that marries Indian flavors with local and seasonal produce. Rinku can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and is also a contributor for Zester Daily.

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