I feel rich when I have a batch of potato masala in the fridge. On the first night I make it I use it as an accompaniment to the main dish. The next day it makes a great lunch topping for naan pizza (using naan fresh from the freezer). I like topping with crumbles of paneer if I have it, or feta or goat cheese, if I don’t. Dollop mint or coconut chutney just before serving, and you have a quick and easy lunch or even dinner in a pinch.
Use as fillings, soup & snacks
Potato masala can be used as a filling for samosas, naan (or any flatbread), a sandwich, and dosas, as in the popular masala dosa. If you cube the potatoes and add stock, this would make a great soup. Formed into balls, or flat rounds and fried, you have a satisfying veggie burger, mix with fish and make into the best fishcakes you’ve ever had. Or shape into spiced potato balls, and “cutlets” for a snack or appetizers. Oh, and served cold, with the potatoes pieces left on the larger side, makes a savory twist for “potato salad.”
Find curry leaves
I have added some spices that are not typically found in the pantry of beginner to Indian cooking. This potato masala will be tasty without curry leaves, hing (asafetida), and green mango powder (amchur), but if you have them, or are interested in finding them, they will up the flavor quotient. I find curry leaves at my local Indian grocery, but you can also find them fresh online on Amazon or ishopindian.com. Curry leaves keep well in the freezer, and you typically only use 10 or leaves, so a package can last quite a long time.
See the Notes below before you cook.
Potato Masala (Curry)
- 1 pound potatoes
- 2 tablespoons ghee or oil ~ Recipe
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds ~ Brown if you have them
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 cup onions ~ Chopped finely
- 10 curry leaves
- 1 green chili ~ Or 1/2 a serrano, or more to taste
- 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
- 1 pinch hing (asafetida) ~ Optional
- 1 teaspoon table or sea salt ~ Divided 1/2 and 1/2
- 1/8 teaspoon Kashmiri ground red chili ~ Or a pinch of cayenne, more to taste; substitutions
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon green mango powder (amchur) ~ Or 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 2 to 4 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons cilantro ~ Chopped coarsely, for garnish
- Gather all your ingredients.
- Boil potatoes just until they are done; you don’t want them mushy. Cool, peel and either chop in small cubes or crush with your fingers into pea-size pieces. I like doing this step by hand, it is satisfying somehow and easy to control the size that works best for the dish you are making. Alternately, instead of boiling the potatoes cut into 1/2-inch cubes, and place on a lined baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of oil. Roast at 425°F (220°C) for 20 to 24 minutes, stirring halfway through. Or you can microwave the potatoes, 5 minutes on each side. Boom!
- Heat ghee or oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan, kadai or wok. Sizzle the mustard and cumin seeds until they pop, change color and become fragrant, about a minute or two.
- Add onions, curry leaves and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Sauté until the onions are soft and slightly golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Add green chili, ginger garlic paste, hing (if using), and red pepper. Mix well and fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Turn up the heat to medium-high and add crushed or cubed potatoes, garam masala, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, amchur or lemon juice, and water (unless your potatoes and mushy and waterlogged). Cook, stirring frequently for 4 to 5 more minutes, and remove from the heat. Garnish with coriander leaves. Taste for the usual need for salt, heat, and acid (lemon). Serve with rice or bread.
- This is an intensely flavored potato masala that works great as a filling or a topping. If you would like a mildly spiced mixture, halve or eliminate the garlic ginger paste and onions. Skipping some or all of the chilies would get you there as well.
- If you want to make this dish as a potato salad, leave the potato chunks larger than you would as for a filling for samosas, or a topping of a pizza.
- Save time by making the masala while the potatoes are cooking.
- If you like, you can substitute 6 ounces of cooked green peas, for 6 oz. of potato; add peas to the mixture along with the potatoes.
- This is a dry curry. If you are wanting something with more sauce, add a half a cup of pureed or chopped tomato after the ginger garlic paste. Cook for 2 to 3 additional minutes, then proceed with the recipe.
- Try finding small, to medium potatoes of roughly the same size, so they finish cooking at the same time.