Monday, June 28, 2010

Baby Potatoes in a spicy Mint and Coriander sauce

Remember those half-days when you were in school in India, what is called early release here in the US? By the time the school bus dropped us off at the corner at half past one we were literally starving. Slippers were thrown helter skelter as we were at liberty to wear 'color dress' that day, dropped the school bag and dashed to the dinning table to see what was for lunch. Hoping it would be uppu paruppu (seasoned dal) and vendakkai puzhi kuzhambu (okra in tamarind sauce) or Kathirikkai Kara Kuzhambu. It did not really matter whatever was there tasted delicious in all that hunger. We filled our plates and filled our stomachs in no time.

As for DD, she asks for a light snacky lunch and is overjoyed if there is chapatis and potatoes when she comes home prompting a quick flash back to the half-days of my youth. Couple of weeks ago on the last day of school which was an early release I had promised to make baby potatoes and chapatis.

I washed and peeled the baby potatoes intending to make one of the ubiquitous tomato-onion based gravies but on second thoughts I also wanted to put to good use the coriander leaves that were starting to go bad and the mint overflowing in the front yard. Mint is left to grow wild because they are not appetizing to the deer which pretty much eat everything else. Baby potatoes in mint and coriander sauce sounded appetizing and new. The gravy is almost like adding potatoes to a mint chutney.

Here is a question,
Say your grocery store is offering a sale-4 bunches of coriander leaves for a $1. Would you go ahead and buy it even if you had no immediate need for that much leaves which are sure to go bad in a couple of days (which is the case when they are on sale!) or buy only how much you need?

Baby Potatoes in a spicy mint and coriander sauce
1. 20 baby potatoes boiled, peeled and pricked with a fork
2. 3 packed cups of mint leaves
3. 1 cup of coriander leaves (optional)
4. 3/4 cup red onion chopped roughly + 2 tbsp chopped fine
5. 4-5 red chilies (reduce for less heat)
6. 1/2 inch piece of ginger
7. a grape sized ball of tamarind (substitute with 1 tbsp amchur powder)
8. 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds + 1 tsp cumin seeds + 1 tsp black pepper
9. 1 tomato - optional
10. 2 tbsp grated fresh/frozen coconut - optional
11. seasonings: cumin and curry leaves
12. salt to taste
13. 2 tsp oil

1. In a pan heat a tiny bit of oil, saute all in 8 and red chilies. Set aside to blend
2. In the same pan saute the onions, ginger, tamarind and when the onions are nice and brown add the mint and coriander leaves and saute till they are wilted
3. Add the coconut and saute for a minute followed by the tomatoes (2 minutes) and salt.
4. Cool and blend to a paste along with the coriander,cumin, pepper and red chilies. Add as much water as you need for the consistency of gravy you prefer
5. In the pan add the rest of the oil and add the seasonings followed by the onions and saute till they turn pink
6. Now add the potatoes and saute for 3-4 minutes till the outsides turn slight brown
7. Add the blended paste and 1/2 cup of water (I wanted a thick gravy), check for salt and let it simmer for 6-8 minutes.

Tastes great as a side for rotis or with rice the next day. Looks like I was not just me thinking of minty potatoes.


  1. Hey Indo, I like this new look and that sauce with potatoes - sounds sooooo good!

  2. Wow Indo.. I love the green masala for this gravy. And I would totally go for the extra cheap herbs sale if given an option. Buy them, wash, grind and freeze into ice-cubes. Use at leisure in future! :)

  3. I'd buy only as much as I would need .. that too only if am having guests coz I don't eat coriander. :-)
    But that gravy for the potatoes sounds perfect to dip a piece of chapati into. :-)

  4. Amma makes baby potato and pudhina saadam...that is what this dish reminds me of. Hmm, I used to buy stuff because it is on sale, but now we tend to pause and think if we really need it

  5. I started growing mint following your tutorial only. and now have a medium pot overflowing with it. this one sounds nice and we both love mint flavour. so will try this soon. between recently saw a great looking green chutney chicken recipe at Deeba's blog. guess you might like to try that with so much of the green abundance in your yard.

  6. Baby potatoes always get me... something about the cuteness and how good they look in every single recipe...
    About your question, it depends. If I was there to buy cilantro in the first place, I'd buy the 4 for 1, only if it looks good. If I didn't have cilantro in my shopping list, I will pass. Now if you are talking about wine, that changes the answer a bit :)

  7. Such a flavourful dish, looks awesome..

  8. I can't believe I am calling a curry "adorable" but this one really is!

    If cilantro was on sale, I would buy it if I had time to make "kothimbir wadi" (savory cilantro cake) that day or the next, because that recipe needs a ton of cilantro.

  9. I've tried this gravy myself so I can imagine the taste.

    No, I wouldn't buy the coriander (or anything else on sale) unless I needed it or knew what I could do with it.

  10. If I know I'll be using it all soon (say, a party), I'd buy it but otherwise I'd pass.

    I'm unlucky when it comes to mint. I've tried growing it for the last couple of years with no success. I agree with the others, the baby potatoes in the curry look so "adorable".



  11. Love mint flavor curries. Am feeling hungry by looking at those gundu potatoes in that gravy.

  12. Love mint based curries. Potatoes look fantastic.

  13. This sounds great. Nice recipe. Looks so good. Lovely accomplishment for rotis...... YUM!

  14. i am so jealous just looking at your herb photos.. i wish my cilantro and mint grows as well as yours! right now they are just tiny seedlings.

    for cilantro, i wont buy 4; had it been basil, i would, because its more seasonal and i can make a big batch of pesto and freeze. the baby potatoes in herbs looks delicious; a different twist to the more common potato gravy preparations.

  15. That looks amazing. last year I had made a chicken curry (which i never did post) in a yogurt mint sauce and the looks of this reminded me of that. I know this was delicious! bookmarked.

    I would buy the coriander. My coriander in the fridge lasts for a few weeks. I fill up a glass, untie the bunch let the whole bunch sit like the flowers in a flower vase. The best way to keep them fresh for the longest time. Also make a paste with garlic of the extra dhania and freeze it for later use. but again i would buy as i use it a lot;-)

  16. I just brought home some baby potatoes - thanks!!!

    PS Nice new look!

  17. Miri,good, enjoy the minty goodnessfa! Nice new look??

  18. This looks very very inviting. A must try recipe. thanks ;-)


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