Potato Masala

This is from "The Food of India." We made this the same night Stacy made the salmon curry.

From the book: This filling is traditionally rolled in dosas to make masala dosa, which is served for breakfast or as a snack in southern India. However, it also makes an excellent spicy potato side dish.

2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
10 curry leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground tumeric
1 cm piece of ginger, grated
2 green chillies, finely chopped
2 oinions, chopped
500 g waxy potatoes, cut into 2 cm cubes
1 tablespoon tamarind puree*


Heat the oil in a heavy-based frying pann, add the mustard seeds, cover and when they start to pop add the curry leaves, turmeric, ginger, chili and onion and cook, uncovered, until the onion is soft.

Add the potato cubes and 250 ml water to the pan, bring to the boil, cover and cook until the potato is tender and almost breaking up. If there is any liquid left in the pan, simmer, uncovered, until it evaporates. If the potato isn't cooked and there is no liquid left, add a little more and continue to cook. Add the tamarind and season with salt, to taste.

*Tamarind Puree:

150 g tamarind block, broken into small pieces

Makes 300 ml

Put the tamarind in a bowl, pour in 250 ml very hot water and soak for 3 hours or until the tamarind is soft. (If you are in a hurry, simmer the tamarind in the water for 15 minutes. Although this is efficient, it doesn't give as good as result.) Mash the tamarind thoroughly with a fork.

Put the mixture through a sieve and extract as much of the pulp as possible by pushing it against the sieve with the back of a spoon. Put the tamarind in the sieve back in the bowl with another 100 ml hot water and mash again. Strain again. Discard the fibres left in the sieve. The puree can be frozen in 1 tablespoon portions and defrosted as needed.

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