Potato Fry. Cooking with Sujaya: Indian Cooking for Beginners

    Editor’s Note: Cooking with Sujaya: Indian Cooking for Beginners is part of a series of articles between Sujaya Chandran and me. Sujaya is offering cooking demos in March. Message us if you are interested.

    How vital are side dishes when you make dinner? I’ve never overthought them. Only now that I’ve been taking cooking lessons with Sujaya, I see how she manages to make three complete meals daily. Her trick? She makes large batches of sides that carry from one meal to the next. She makes one or two proteins that last a couple of days, always adding one or two ingredients that make the meal not feel like a leftover. It’s impressive.

    Potato Fry. Cooking with Sujaya: Indian Cooking for Beginners
    Potato Fry. Cooking with Sujaya: Indian Cooking for Beginners

    She made a potato fry for today’s lesson that reminded me of my mother’s Mexican homemade potatoes. The difference was the Indian spice tempering that created a delicious masala sauce for the potatoes. I will skip the green chili but keep the chili powder when I make this in my kitchen. The spice combination is flavorful, and I can’t imagine a masala sauce without some heat. I highly recommend adding this to your potato recipe kit!

    Potato Fry. Cooking with Sujaya: Indian Cooking for Beginners

    • 2 Tlarge Russet Potatoes (peeled and diced)
    • 1/2 large onion (diced)
    • 1 green chili (split lengthwise)
    • 1 pinch mustard seeds
    • 1 pinch Chana Dal
    • 1 pinch Urad Dal
    • 1 pinch Asafoetida
    • 1 tsp chili powder
    • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
    • Salt to taste
    1. In a frying pan, heat oil until it shimmers. Add the mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal, curry leaves, and green chilies, and allow them to splutter. Once the spluttering ends, add the hing and the onions. Allow frying until golden brown, and add the potatoes, chili powder, turmeric, and salt. Mix well and ensure everything is coated in the masala, then turn the flame down and put a lid on the pan. Allow cooking for 15 mins, opening to lid midway to stir the potatoes to avoid burning.

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    Olga Rosales Salinas is Managing Editor for San Francisco Bay Area Moms. As a freelance writer and journalist, her articles have been published nationally by Palabra, National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Her debut collection of poetry and prose, La Llorona, was published by Birch Bench Press in August of 2021. Her monthly column "Thriving While Anxious" is featured @ Jumble & Flow. In 2019 her philanthropy and activism began with a non-profit benefiting first-generation and immigrant students, The Rosales Sisters' Scholarship. She has had spotlights in the following podcasts and radio stations; Los Sotelos Podcast, The Hive Poetry Collective @ksqd.org, Walk the Talk Podcast, "Making a Difference with Sheetal Ohri" on Bolly 92.3 FM, and Roll Over Easy @BFFdotFM Radio.


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