Veganmofo. Day 16. I am officially no longer in hibernation. I am kicked about what I am doing. Posting a dish a day!
Mr.P, after many triumphs in cooking vegetables and main course dishes decided last month that it was time to expand his expertise. He said he would like to learn baking, and wanted to start off with a fool-proof recipe. Most fool-proof recipes according to me, begin with potatoes. There is no way you can manage to get it wrong, even if you tried hard. With P’s natural bent, it would be impossible! He made it the first time, and it came out incredibly good. Since then, he has been roasting and baking vegetables as if they are disappearing from the face of earth!
A couple of day ago, he bought baby potatoes. I know one equation.
“Baby Potatoes + Yum Factor = Dum Aloo”
But Mr.P, was on a roll. The oven beckoned him. He proposed another equation:
“Baby Potatoes + Oven = Yum Factor”
I disagreed. He set out to prove. The oven sang. I was wooed. How?
Recipe: Baked baby potatoes, Indian style
Yield: Never enough!
Baby potatoes | Dum aloo waale aloo – About 30
Olive Oil – 3 tsps.
Dry mango powder | Aamchoor – 1/8 tsp. or less
Sea Salt – To taste
Lemon pepper | Kali mirch, nimbu ke saal ke saath – 1 tsp.
Thyme – 6-7 sprigs, optional
Pre-heat oven to 200 deg. C.
Wash, scrub and dry potatoes thoroughly with a towel. You can halve some of the bigger ones.
In a jelly pan or baking tray, about 8 X 6 inches, or so, sprinkle some oil. I would do a teaspoon.
Add potatoes, and the rest of the seasoning. Bash two sprigs of thyme and set aside with a teaspoon of oil. Do not add the entire portion of salt. Add half. Add a generous pinch of dry mango powder. Add lots of lemon pepper, about a teaspoonful, freshly crushed. Toss well.
Place the pan/tray in the center rack and bake at 200 deg. C. for 20 minutes. Remove, toss once more, adding another teaspoon of oil. Place in the oven. Mr.P cranked the temperature to 250 deg. C. Bake 20 minutes more.
Remove and check for done-ness. The skin should have shrivelled, and the potatoes shrunk. There may be a few dark spots, which is all the more better! Check seasoning and balance with more salt and amchoor, only if needed.
Add the thyme and oil that was reserved. Toss well. Serve as a mid-morning appetizer or a starter. I would have liked coriander pesto to go with it, but we did not have coriander or mint to make mint to make mint chutney. Mr.P and I got two or three each. Jr.P and Jr.H made a grab for the rest!
It was a good Saturday. We gave in to some brazilian coffee with soy milk.
When I was a kid in Kanpur, Ramlal, our kitchen help would collect new potatoes from the Season’s harvest and toss them into the woodfire, where water would be heated for our bath. When the ash was still hot he would roll them out with a stick, remove the skin, and place a plateful of the slightly-charred potatoes with fresh pudina chutney when we got back from school. When I eat baked potatoes, to this day, I become the little eight year old girl. She was not the best looking kid. Her laces would be undone, shirt pulled half out, hair unkempt, and as she greedily bit into aromatic aloos, the corners of her mouth would catch some of the black in the potatoes.
He was right – Mr.P, when he proposed that, “Baby Potatoes + Oven = Yum Factor.”
My mum would sometimes get angry, but she could hardly remain angry for long with me and sis. I guess we were adorable, after all!