I love potatoes any time of the year, but new potatoes in the spring are the pinnacle of potato-hood. They are sweet, tender and delicious. They need very little adornment–any other roasted potato I might dip in ketchup, but not a spring baby redskin.
This recipe is made for new potatoes. Roasted in a simple assortment of Indian spices, the potatoes need absolutely nothing else to make them sing (although I confess to letting my mysteriously potato-averse children dip them in Greek yogurt). I have been staring at this recipe since last fall, waiting for spring potatoes. Saran prefers the tiniest of potatoes, but I say forget about that (unless you have more selection than I do) and just go for organic new potatoes–the true babies that are only sold in the spring.
And then buy as many as you can.
Whole Indian Spiced Baby Potatoes
Adapted from Indian Home Cooking, Suvir Saran
2 T vegetable oil
1 T ghee
3 whole dried chile peppers or red chile pepper flakes, to taste (I used the latter, a pinch or so)
1 1/2 t cumin seeds
1 lb new baby redskins, preferably organic (if some are bigger, cut them into chunks to approximate the size of the smallest potato)1 1/2 t ground coriander
1 t ground fennel
1/2 t turmeric
1/2 t garam masala
1 t salt, to taste
pinch cayenne pepper or sub paprika
juice of 1/2 lemon or lime (I forgot and was delicious without but will try on leftovers, so is optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Combine the oil, ghee, chile peppers and cumin seeds in an ovenproof large pan or wok over medium high heat. Cook, stirring, until the cumin darkens and becomes fragrant–do not let it burn. Add the potatoes and toss to coat with the spices and oil. Continue to toss and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add the rest of the spices as well as the salt and toss the potatoes to coat them. Cover the pan and place them in the oven. Roast at 375 F for 20 minutes and then remove the lid and crank the heat to 450 F. Roast until the potatoes are tender–watch them to make sure they do not burn. Saran does this on the stovetop but I preferred the oven for the whole potatoes for all over roasting.