Punching up the basics: Masala Mashed Potatoes

November 21, 2010

Masala Mashed Potatoes

Part of the beauty of making a South Indian Thanksgiving is the sides themselves are easily inspired by the vegetarian cuisine of Southern India. If you have a blended group of carnivores and vegetarians coming to dinner, this menu is sure to please both. The vegetables will be full of flavor without any added meat (it really is possible to make vegetables without bacon fat!), and the tandoori turkey will be a perfect complement to the vegetables that will end up stealing the show.

Mashed potatoes are a must at every Thanksgiving, but these get a spicy makeover with ginger, curry leaves, mustard seeds, and tumeric. The result is a flavorful potato that will have your guests asking for seconds, thirds, and possibly fourths!

Masala Mashed Potatoes

2 tbl oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
10 curry leaves
1/4 tsp tumeric
1 in. ginger, grated
2 green thai chilies (in my case, 3), finely chopped
1 onion, chopped
1.5 lbs potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tbl tamarind puree

Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the mustard seeds and cook until they start to pop.
Add curry leaves, tumeric, ginger, chili and onion and cook until the onion is soft.
Add the potato cubes and 1 cup of water, bring to a boil (season with a little salt at this stage), then cover and cook until the potatoes are tender and just breaking up.
Simmer uncovered if there is excess liquid in the pan (there should be a little, but not too much). Add the tamarind paste and salt to taste and stir.
Mash potatoes with a potato masher or the back of a spoon. I prefer to have some chunks left in mine, so I don’t mash too much (easier to pick up with the naan).

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