Today was a cloudy, clammy day. It just threatened to rain throughout the day; didn’t actually rain, which would have been better, by the way. But it didn’t rain. And the humidity hit the ceiling. Such days do have a depressing effect on most people, including me. So I wanted to make a dinner that would be a definite ‘pick-me-up’. Something spicy and fairly hot, and made up of my ultimate comfort food… you guessed it… potatoes!
At the same time, I did not want to spend much time experimenting either. It had to be something tried and trusted. And there it was, among my trusted recipes – potatoes in a spicy pan-roasted sauce.
The roasting actually happens twice: first you roast the ingredients for the sauce…
And then you roast the sauce itself.
While selecting the ingredients for the sauce, do not select large onions or tomatoes. Smaller sizes work best with the roasting. And it is important to get them fairly well charred.
I have prepared this dish with fresh or dried herbs and don’t think the difference is discernible. Today, I did not have any thyme or oregano growing at home, and was too lazy to go get them. So I used the dried variety.
This dish calls for vegetable or chicken stock. However, if you do not have stock handy, water will work as well.
This will keep in the refrigerator very well. In fact, it might even taste better on the second day!
Boiled or steamed rice or flat breads are good combinations with this dish.
- 1 ½ lb small potatoes
- 1 zucchini
- 5 small tomatoes
- 2 smallish onions
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1 jalapeno
- 1 bunch cilantro leaves
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 cup stock; can be vegetable or chicken
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt to taste
- If the potatoes are bigger than bite size, cut them into bite sized pieces.
- Cut the onions lengthwise into two.
- Cut the zucchini into bite sized pieces.
- Finely chop the cilantro leaves.
- Boil the potatoes in a large pot of salted water, until almost done. Do not overcook.
- When done, drain and keep aside.
- Crush the cumin carefully.
- Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic and jalapeno on a hot thick-bottomed pan, without any oil.
- Roast them, turning them around so that char marks appear all over them. Keep aside to cool.
- When cool, peel and chop the veggies. Grind them in a blender till a smooth consistency is achieved.
- Add the thyme, oregano and crushed cumin and blend again.
- In a large pan, heat the olive oil.
- When the oil is very hot, add the sauce from the blender and keep frying for 6-8 minutes, stirring constantly.
- When the sauce has thickened, add the boiled potatoes and zucchini, along with half of the chopped cilantro.
- Add the stock and cover and cook till the vegetables are done.
- Check and adjust salt, if required.
- Serve with the rest of the chopped cilantro sprinkled on top.