Thursday, August 21, 2008

Turmeric 'Taters

Here's an easy and colorful potato side dish that uses the cheerful but under-appreciated turmeric. I've only made it in the pressure cooker, but it will probably work in a regular pot if you simmer it carefully. Only use enough potatoes that they will cover the bottom of your pan in a single layer.

They look better on the plate, but here's the basic idea. The wedges will be fluffy on the inside, slightly translucent, and obviously, bright yellow.

2-4 russet potatoes, peeled cut in wedges
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp. oil
1 tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. ground coriander (optional)
hot water

In the base of your pressure cooker, heat the oil until moderately hot. Add the garlic and saute until it just begins to turn golden. Add the turmeric and stir so it colors the oil and begins to release its fragrance, about 30 seconds.

Add the potato wedges, white pepper, salt, and coriander to the pan and toss the potatoes so they are coated in the turmeric oil. Distribute the potatoes so that they form a single layer in the bottom of the pan.

Pour 2-3 Tbsp. hot water into the pan very carefully so that it doesn't wash off the turmeric yellow. The best way to do this is to hold a spoon to the inside edge of the pan and pour water slowly into it so that it slides down the side of the pan without touching the potatoes. You want to add only enough to prevent burning, but not enough that the potatoes are swimming in it.

Place the pressure cover onto the pan and cook the potatoes for 3-4 minutes, releasing the pressure using the cold-water method. Serve by carefully lifting the wedges out of the pan without breaking them.

To make this without a pressure cooker I would simmer them on low on the stovetop, adding small amounts of water throughout the process so that the potatoes don't burn. It will probably take 30-40 minutes.


Marjorie Magidow Schalles said...

Made these while Alex was in town - really delicious! Made great home fries a couple days later. mmmmmmmmm...

The Middle Child said...

Do you think you could skip a step with the pressure cooker, and just microwave the 'taters prior to cooking?

Lillian said...

If you're cooking them in a regular pot and looking to save time it's probably worth a try. Just don't cook them more than halfway through or they'll be liable to fall apart when you toss them in the turmeric-infused oil. I don't know how this would 'skip a step' so much as add a step and shorten the cooking time. I think they need to actually be cooked with the turmeric because it seems to fuse into the potato starch. If it works out let me know!