Saturday, February 2, 2013

Yellow Potatoes/ Potato Bhaji/Indian Ginger Potatoes

Since my kids were little, this has been one of their favorites. I usually refer to the dish as yellow potatoes, but their dad calls it potato bhaji. He uses bhaji to mean an Indian vegetable.

This is the first Indian dish I learned to cook. My in-laws, my kids' Aji and Azobar (i.e., Indian grandmother and grandfather) taught me how to make it when they visited from India in 1988. Since it was the only Indian dish I cooked then, I used to bring these potatoes when my husband and I went to the Research Triangle Park Maharastra Mandal's functions.

UGA Taste of Home 201

In the summer of 2011, my son learned to cook this dish and typed up the included recipe. I entered the recipe in UGA's Taste of Home competition. Selected entries are made in the university's dining halls. Our winning recipe was served at dinner in Snelling Commons on December 1, 2011, taste-of-home/snelling-2011. Unfortunately due to a schedule conflict, my son did not get to try the school’s Indian Ginger Potatoes. I wonder how UGA’s version compares to ours. We enjoyed receiving a commemorative plate and copy of UGA’s recipe that makes 8600 serving as a prize.

Boil Potatoes

Potatoes are a staple in our house. You should be able to buy potatoes for 50¢ a pound. If you watch sales or shop at Aldi, you can get them for 30¢ a pound.

Select potatoes that are similar in size, so they will be ready at the same time. Wash them in water and scrub with a vegetable brush. Place them in a pot and cover with salted water, about 1 Tbsp in a 4 quart pot. Boil covered for 25-40 minutes until they feel tender when pricked with a fork. I drain them by carefully holding the pot and lid and pouring the water down the sink. Then I let the potatoes cool uncovered in the pot. If you want peeled potatoes, it is easier to peel them while they are still warm.

I usually cook as many potatoes as will fit in a single layer in the pot at a time. Extras can be used for other meals or eaten as a snack.

2TbspsVegetable oil
1MediumOnion, peeled and chopped
1/2 - 1Hot green pepper, finely chopped
1-inchPiece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/8TspAsafoetida, optional
4MediumPotatoes, (adult fist sized), boiled, peeled, and cut into 1 inch cubes
1-1 1/2TspsSalt
1/4TspGround red or cayenne pepper
2TbspsCilantro leaves, chopped
  1. Heat oil on high. Add onions, hot pepper, and ginger; and cook about 3 minutes until onions start to brown.
  2. Add turmeric and asafoetida to pan, and cook 1 minute.
  3. Turn heat to medium low. Add potatoes, salt, red pepper, and water. Cover and cook about 10 minutes until potatoes are hot. Check after 5 minutes. Add more water, if needed, to prevent sticking.
  4. Serve topped with chopped cilantro leaves.

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