I "discovered" jeera aloo when D took me out for Indian food for my birthday back in October. I was determined to make it at home. Potatoes and spices. I could probably handle that. The thing is, Indian cooking often requires a lot of steps...boil the potatoes then pan fry them in oil...recipes call for pressure cookers...and I'm, well, lazy.
I've gone to over my friends Tim and Seema's apartment for dinner. Seema will have promised some sort of elaborate pasta dish, and when I get there she says, "I didn't end up trying out that pasta recipe. I just made Indian food. I hope that's OK."
One: Of course it's OK. What kind of person turns down homemade Indian food?
Two: Seriously? Just Indian food? I would love to be the kind of person who says "I just made Indian food" (I suppose being Indian does help), but I doubt I ever will be.
So, being the type of person who will never use the phrase "I just made Indian food" as if I had put no thought or effort into the meal, I added the spices to my typical roasted potato recipe. It wasn't exactly like the restaurant, but it tasted pretty close. I'm happy with my approximation.
Roasted Cumin Potatoes
Adapted from Padma's Kitchen
1/2 lb small red-skinned potatoes (I used Russian fingerlings), cut into 1" chunks
1-2 T oil or ghee
1/2 t cumin seeds
1/2 T coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
1 T cumin seeds, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/4 t turmeric
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1/2 T ground cumin
salt to taste
Preheat oven to 400.
Toss the potatoes with the oil and the spices. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 25-30 minutes, turning once during cooking, or until the potatoes are tender on the inside and a bit crisp on the outside.
Serve with a scrambled egg curry, chana saag or other protein-filled dish of choice and it's dinner.
Serves 2-3 as a side.