Saturday, July 12, 2008

Spicy Potatoes

Thurs 03 July 2008

After the expense of the linguine al granchio, I thought I should offer something a little more in keeping with these credit crunch times ...

Regular readers will be aware that Andy and I do a lot of our food shopping at the Leeds' market. We are fortunate because we both work in town and can pop in as often as we need to (or can be bothered). A side effect of this is that whenever I enter a supermarket I am appalled by the vast expense of the fruit and vege.

But, in Somerfield one day, we spotted a 500g bag of washed baby potatoes, marked down from £1 to 25p ... because it was near its use by date (yes, a use by date on potatoes ... I kid you not). I take next to no notice of use by dates. It's a potato - I'll be able to see and feel if it's alright to eat!

At the time, I thought £1 for 500g of potatoes rather steep, and when I went to the market on Tuesday I spotted the same little washed baby potatoes at 50p for 2lb. I knew it! The supermarket comes in at FOUR TIMES the cost of the market!

Once you have your cheap potatoes ... what to do? A quick, simple, mid-week supper was called for and I headed to Camellia Panjabi and her 50 Great Curries of India for inspiration. The fried potatoes with mixed spices looked like a good place to start ...

I've added to this recipe considerably, as the potato dish was our meal, rather than an accompaniment.

Begin by ensuring your potatoes are cut into roughly bite size pieces. Some of mine were left whole, others were halved. Boil the potatoes with 1/2 tsp of turmeric in the water.

When the potatoes are cooked, heat some vegetable oil in a wok and add 1/2 tsp of coriander powder and 1 tsp of chilli powder, 1 tsp of cumin seeds and a pinch of methi leaves, if you have them. As the spices start to cook, add a large onion, finely sliced, and some garlic and ginger. Allow the onion to go brown.

When almost ready to serve, add the potatoes and give them a good fry, so you not only have bits of crispy onion, but you also have bits of crispy potato.

And when ready to serve, toss through 1/2 tsp of garam masala. Taste. At this point, I added more garam masala.


Simple! With leftovers for lunch the next day, our 25p worth of potatoes did three meals.

And this meal was cooked almost a week after those potatoes had been earmarked for the bin - and not one of them had to be thrown out. Bit for (personal) economy - done!

Finally ... if you're not already a member of the Eating Leeds blog network on Facebook if you join now you'll do a bit for your own economy, as I've linked to a 2-for-1 Pizza Express voucher - valid Sunday - Thursday until 7 August. That's tonight's supper sorted then!

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Blogger Ros said...

It's good that you have a useful market at your disposal. The only proper market I can get to is a farmers market which is ludicrously expensive. I usually resort to the little Turkish shops to buy my veg. They're horribly expensive for most stuff but the veg is very cheap, although you do need to dig around to find edible ones sometimes.

I also don't care about use by dates. However the father of a friend possibly went too far with his 'fizz test' of deciding when food was off. His philosophy: if it isn't fizzing, it's fine. :s

4:07 pm  
Blogger Alex said...

Yes, Ros, we are so lucky to have the Kirkgate markets here in Leeds, although it's surprising just how many people don't shop there!

I'd be really worried if I ever saw a potato fizzing!!

8:12 pm  

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