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Divas Unite to Praise the Potato

Written By Pam Brandon and Anne-Marie Denicole On August 4, 2010

turmeric_taters2Finally, the potato famine is over. Vilified for years for their unsavory carbs and empty calories, we, the United Divas of the United Plates of America, decry this basic right to spice our spuds and eat them too. To enjoy this humble bite sans shame, guilt and guile; to elevate the potato’s sidekick status to savory main course star.

And so we propose the plant-based bliss of responsible decadence. Why not sit down to dinner of gloriously golden turmeric-crusted new potatoes (no need to peel) topped with oh-so-sweet pan-crisped onions. We love this Indian-inspired dish with a cooling tomato and plain yogurt salad spiked with fresh mint, red chilies and lime. But you can certainly enjoy as is: smashed, fried and comfortable in its own skin.

Turmeric Crusted New Potatoes
Serves 4 to 6

1 pound new potatoes, rinsed
Coarse salt, to taste
1 large sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced
6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 teaspoons turmeric, or more to taste
2 teaspoons ground cumin, or more to taste
2 teaspoons ground coriander, or more to taste
Coarse salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender, about 16 to 20 minutes. Drain and cool on paper towels; potatoes should be thoroughly dry before frying.

While potatoes boil, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add 1/2 teaspoon each turmeric, cumin and coriander. Toss in the onions, seasoning with salt and pepper and stirring to combine. Do not overstir so that edges of the onions become crisp and caramelized. Cook for about 10 minutes. Remove the onions from the pan with a slotted spoon; set aside.

Using a jar or your fist, carefully smash each potato so that the edges are slightly broken but potato is still intact (the shape slightly flattened).

In the same skillet, heat 2 more tablespoons of the oil, seasoning again with turmeric, cumin and coriander. When the oil is hot, add the potatoes, careful not to overcrowd. Cook about 5 minutes per side or until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels, seasoning with an extra pinch of salt. Repeat this process until all potatoes are fried.

To serve, mound potatoes on serving platter and top with onions. Delicious with plain yogurt mixed with diced tomatoes, fresh mint, red chilies and lime juice.

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