December 23, 2009

Monica's Friend V's Ps! And There's A Winner Of The Cookbook Giveaway!!

I am posting this recipe because I got quite a few requests for it when I reviewed Monica Bhide's latest book, Modern Spice. Monica's friend Vrinda cooks potatoes like this and so she calls them V's Ps!

When I first saw this recipe in the book, it looked a lot like one of the potato "curries" I make, so I'm very sure Monica's friend is a south Indian. My own version is traditional south Indian style of cooking potatoes and doesn't include garlic, but I have to say that garlic really adds to this recipe.

Monica says her friend Vrinda doesn't consider herself a "real" cook in the style of exotic, stylish and gourmet cooking.
I guess each of us has our own idea of what a "real" cook is, but like Monica I also think that anyone who puts in their effort and love into cooking up tasty and satisfying food is the "real" cook.

This is a very simple yet tasty way of cooking potatoes. I did change a few small things in the recipe when I made this for my convenience and to suit our taste. I am adding this in brackets wherever applicable, in a different colour.


2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

4 whole dried chillie

3 garlic cloves, crushed (1/2 tsp garlic paste)

1/2 kg (1 pound) baby potatoes, peeled and quartered

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

8 to 10 fresh curry leaves

2 tbsp minced cilantro

salt to taste


In a large lidded skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to crackle, add the red chillies.

Add the garlic and potatoes and sauté for about 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the turmeric and mix well. Add the curry leaves and cilantro and cook foe another minute.

Add the salt to taste and about 2 tbsps of water. Cover and cook over low heat until the potatoes are tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

Serve hot. This recipe serves 4.

I made a couple of changes to the recipe in the cooking. I reduced the garlic a bit because we do not like the flavour of garlic too much; just a faint hint of it was fine for us.
I added the chopped cilantro at the end after the cooking was done.

I also cooked my potatoes in the microwave till they were just done and then added them to the pan. This meant that it took less time to cook up this dish and so I added just a splash of water instead of the 2 tbsp.

Now to the bit about the cookbook giveaway I had promised while celebrating 2 years of blogging. Before I get to that, I would like to thank everyone (including those of you who still didn't delurk) for encouraging me to continue writing and sharing my kitchen stories here.

Thank you also for all those lovely comments about my posts and pictures. Regarding the couple of suggestions, I have already been working on them. This blog should have a header (finally!) and a cleaner and less cluttered look by the New Year.

And the lucky lady who has won the book Petite Sweets: Bite-Size Desserts to Satisfy Every Sweet Tooth by Beatrice Ojakangas *drum roll, please* is Madhuli.

Madhuli, please mail me your postal address so that I can send you the book.

"Season's Greetings and Happy Holidays!"


Indhu said...

I love such simple sabzis... love how the potatoes glisten in the picture :)

sra said...

Indhu above said it all for me!

Soma said...

Dear Aparna,

Happy Holidays & Happy New year to you and your loved ones.

jayasree said...

Thats yet another simple recipe to make potatoes.

Congrats Madhuli.

Prathibha said...

simple n yummy curry....congrats to the winner..

Lisa said...

Aparna, I LOVE potatoes, especially with lots of spices, and these look delicious!

That said, I wanted to wish you and yours a happy and healthy holiday! *hugs*

lata raja said...

Done in a kadai, the subzi looks inviting.

Parita said...

Congratulations to the winner!
Potato curry looks yummmy..waiting for your blog's new look.

Monica said...

THanks for posting my recipe. My friend is actually not South Indian but like me, a punjabi :-)

jayasri said...

wow, the potato curry looks very cute, nice click you know!!, and congragulations Madhuli

SE(Denufood) said...

Potatoes look delicious..this is a typical Maharashtrian style of cooking .. Wishing you and your family..Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Congratulations madhuli!

Herrad said...

Happy Christmas.

Deeba PAB said...

Welcome back Aparna. Hope you are OK. Love the potatoes from MS...very nice indeed & great picture too!
Lucky Madhuli...what a wonderful book that is! I love Beatrice O's recipes. said...

I have made this recipe many times and it is agreat accompaniment with dhals and kadhi.My mum used to deep fry the potatoes prior to stir frying them and resulted in lovely crispy out side and fluffy poatao insisde but due to health reasons I microwave potatoes before stir frying.

Sunshinemom said...

This is amongst my son's faves!

Congrats to Madhuli:)

Jamie said...

Welcome back, Aparna and hope all is well. We've all been thinking of you! The way you prepared these potatoes is lovely and a great change for what we usually serve.

Happy Holidays to you!

Jo said...

I love simple potato dishes such as this. It looks so yummy and the picture speaks for itself already.

Helene said...

Thanks for posting. They looks so good. I'll have to make them :)

Aparna said...

Yes it is a lovely book. Lucky Madhuli! :)

Really, Monica. I thought the name and the tadka were very south Indian-ish. I was wrong. :)