Indian-Spiced Potato Tots
Indian cuisine is full of tasty potato dishes. So it was only natural to pair these tater treats with the bold spices of the land of curry. A cooling cucumber-yogurt dip quells the cayenne kick.
What to buy: Panch phoron is a Bengali spice mix that combines fenugreek, nigella seed, black mustard seed, fennel seed, and cumin seed. If you can’t find it at your grocery store, just blend equal parts of all the seeds (as in this recipe).
Game plan: You’ll need to make the Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce before you begin.
This recipe was featured as part of our Make Your Own Potato Tots project.
- 1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes (about 2 medium), scrubbed
- 1 teaspoon plus 1 1/2 to 2 cups canola oil
- 3/4 teaspoon panch phoron, finely ground in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon fine salt, plus more as needed
- Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce, for dipping (see Game Plan note)
1Heat the oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place the potatoes in the oven and bake until easily pierced with a knife but still firm in the center, about 35 to 40 minutes. (If you have 3 smaller potatoes, cook them about 25 to 30 minutes.) Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the panch phoron, turmeric, and cayenne and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
2When the potatoes are cool enough to handle but still hot, peel away the skin using a paring knife and discard. Shred the potatoes on the large holes of a box grater. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl, sprinkle in the flour, salt, and cooled spice mix and stir gently until combined.
3Measure 1 teaspoon of the potato mixture and roll into a short cylinder about 1 1/2 inches long and 3/4 inch wide. Place on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining potato mixture.
4Line a second baking sheet with paper towels; set aside. Add enough of the remaining oil to a large frying pan to reach about 1/4 inch up the sides and set over medium-high heat until hot, about 5 minutes. Check to see if the oil is hot by submerging the handle of a wooden spoon or wooden chopstick till it touches the bottom of the pan—the oil should bubble vigorously. When it’s ready, fry the tots in batches of 8 to 10 pieces (do not overcrowd the pan), turning once, until medium golden brown on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the paper-towel-lined baking sheet and season with salt. Serve immediately with cucumber-yogurt sauce.
5To freeze, let the fried tots cool, then transfer to an airtight container or zip-top bag. Arrange in a single layer and place in the freezer. To reheat, heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Evenly spread the tots in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until hot, about 15 minutes.
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