Thursday, 10 September 2015

Masala mashed potatoes

Now that I have given up work full time and am doing my own thing, as well as pursuing my culinary passions, I have started to play around with new ideas for old favourites.

Mashed potato is, in my opinion, one of the ultimate comfort foods. Hot and steaming, with loads of butter and milk (or cream if you are feeling in need of some extra comfort), it is guaranteed to make you feel good. And of course you can make it even more comforting by mixing in some cheese or leeks like I do when I am using it as a cottage pie topping.

As delicious as it is however, it is not the healthiest of foods, especially if you are watching your weight or need to follow a low fat diet for health reasons. With that in mind, and some herbs and spices in the fridge which I needed to use up, I wondered if I could do something a little healthier.

I originally used this mix to stuff peppers as part of a vegan and gluten free dinner, but have since discovered that it goes equally as well with sausages, roast chicken or stuffed into flatbreads or dhosas and served with chutneys. It is also great served in a bowl on its' own!

The quantity below fills four peppers generously, but you can scale the quantities up if serving as part of a meal.

300g potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
3tbsp sunflower oil or light olive oil
½tsp yellow or black mustard seeds
½tsp cumin seeds
1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 fresh green chilli, finely chopped. Take the seeds out if you prefer a milder chilli heat
½tsp ground turmeric
1tsp garam masala
50g raw peanuts or cashews, chopped
1tsp salt, or to taste
2tbsp fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
1tbsp lemon juice

Place the potatoes in a pan with water, bring to the boil and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until soft. Drain and allow to cool slightly. When cool place in a bowl and mash roughly with a fork, what you want is a textured mash. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a wide, shallow frying pan. Add the mustard and cumin seeds, place the lid on and allow the seeds to pop. Do not be tempted to lift the lid as the seeds will fly all over the place.

Next add the onion and chilli to the pan and fry for 10 minutes until soft. Then add the tumeric, garam masala and nuts and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, taking care not to burn the nuts.

Add the potato, salt, coriander and lemon juice to the pan and heat through before serving.

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