“Potatoes, any kind, and flavored any way, are extremely popular in India,” Amisha Dodhia Gurbani writes in her new cookbook, Mumbai Modern. “When potatoes are cooked dry with spices and a bit of oil in a pan, they crisp up beautifully and make for a very delicious meal.” That’s the case with her recipe for masala smashed potatoes, which are delicious as is or paired with daal and rice.
As she explains, chaat masala (found here in the spice-laden oil that glazes the potatoes) is essential and available at any Indian grocery store or online. “The chaat masala has a key component called amchur, ground dried mango, which makes the dish flavorful. The powder enhances the taste by giving the potatoes a sour tang.”
Excerpted from Mumbai Modern: Vegetarian Recipes Inspired by Indian Roots and California Cuisine. Copyright © 2021 Amisha Dodhia Gurbani. Reproduced by permission of The Countryman Press, a division of W.W. Norton & Company. All rights reserved.
Cilantro Garlic Yogurt Sauce
1½ cups (345g) Greek yogurt
½ cup (12g) packed cilantro
2 tablespoons (5g) finely chopped mint
1 tablespoon (15g) fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon (6g) table salt
Masala Smashed Potatoes
1½ pounds (680g) baby potatoes, washed well
2 teaspoons (12g) table salt
½ cup (6g) olive oil
1 teaspoon (2g) ground turmeric
1 teaspoon (2g) red chili powder
1 teaspoon (2g) ground coriander
1 teaspoon (6g) table salt
1 teaspoon (2g) chaat masala
1 teaspoon (3g) garlic powder
½ cup (12g) finely chopped cilantro leaves
1. Make the Cilantro Garlic Yogurt Sauce: In a high-speed blender, add the Greek yogurt, cilantro, mint, lemon juice, garlic and salt and blitz until smooth. It should be a thick sauce that can be drizzled. If needed, add water a tablespoon at a time to get it to a drizzle consistency. The sauce can be made a day ahead and stored in the refrigerator.
2. Make the Masala Smashed Potatoes: In a medium to large pot, add the potatoes and water to a level about 1 inch higher than the potatoes. Add the salt. On high heat, cook the potatoes until fork-tender, 18 to 20 minutes.
3. Turn off the heat and drain the water. Cool the potatoes until you can handle them, about 10 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
5. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the olive oil, turmeric, chili powder, coriander, salt, chaat masala and garlic powder, and whisk to combine. Set aside.
6. Generously coat a large baking sheet with nonstick spray. Place the potatoes on the tray. Using a flat-bottomed glass, gently press each potato to flatten slightly, but not more than ½ inch thick.
7. Using a pastry brush, generously coat each potato with the spice-oil mixture. Bake on the middle rack for 10 to 15 minutes, then transfer to the bottom rack for 10 minutes more, to crisp up the bottoms of the potatoes. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes.
8. Serve on a platter with the Cilantro Garlic Yogurt Sauce on the side or drizzled over top. Garnish with cilantro.
Note: Use smoked paprika or Kashmiri red chili powder instead of the red chili powder to reduce the spice levels.