I really cannot remember how this recipe came about. I think I used the ginger in something else & thought it would be good on potatoes. I use garlic, mustard and cumin to temper the oil and then fry the potatoes. It is a simple dish but has lots of flavour and lovely textures with soft and crispy bits.
This is my basic, go to version for a quick dinner as I always have the ingredients. However, it is also delicious with other spices such as fresh curry leaves, chilli, fenugreek leaves or seeds or fennel. You can adapt the spices to your taste. I usually serve it with lamb chops which I have marinaded in yoghurt and a bunch of spices or as a side dish with a selection of curries. Either way it always goes down well & is a handy recipe to have in your repertoire.
Most potatoes will work but I do prefer new potatoes. They are so good when fried until crispy with a buttery interior. In winter I use cubed red potatoes, something waxy is best. If the potatoes are floury they are going to soak up a lot of oil.
Ingredients (Serves 4 as a side dish):
400-500g potatoes (new potatoes are best)
4 inches fresh ginger root
2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 cloves garlic
1. Boil the potatoes until soft. Drain them and cut them into bite sized chunks or slices. If you are not going to fry them straight away run them under cold water to stop them overcooking and set aside until needed.
2. Meanwhile peel the ginger and cut it into matchstick sized pieces. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan and add the ginger. It should just cover the bottom of the pan and be immersed in the oil. If there is too much cook the ginger in batches. It is important that it cooks quite quickly but do not have the oil smoking hot as the ginger will burn.
3. Once the ginger has turned brown at the ends use a spoon with holes or slotted spatula to remove it from the oil. Place it on absorbent paper. It is important that you leave as much of the oil on the pan as possible as it is flavoured with ginger and will be used to fry the potatoes.
4. Keep the oil hot and add the mustard seeds. Once they start to splutter add the cumin seeds and chopped garlic. Fry these for about a minute then add the cooked potatoes. Season them with salt and toss everything together.
5. Fry the potatoes until they are golden and crispy and then transfer them to kitchen paper to drain the excess oil.