Urulai Roast

Curried Potato Fry

Potatoes are used in many cuisines around the world. Mashed, fried, roasted, baked, steamed, even microwaved, doesn’t matter how we cook them, they are a delight to consume! There are probably a million or two potato recipes out there but we all have our favorite way of cooking it. A special recipe, could be as simple as this one or a very gourmet recipe like the potato au gratin !

Potatoes are called Urulai Kizhangu in Tamil, our native language. Being from the southern part of India, potato is not necessarily native to this region. It is cultivated more in the Northern regions since the weather is cooler and moisture just right to cultivate them. But that doesn’t stop us Southerners from consuming it. There are a few varieties that can be grown in the south. Potatoes are an integral part of our diet just like rice and wheat are.

In our home, we all have our favorite way of eating it. One loves creamy mashed potatoes ,another oven roasted potato wedges, the third one loves it in chaats like aloo tikki, ragda pattice, etc., and the 4th one is loyal to the South Indian ways of cooking it – urulai roast, urulai podimas, urulai podi…ooh la la !

This recipe is M’s aunty’s and is absolutely delicious. It can be used as a side for steamed white rice, eaten with roti, stuffed inside a dosa or even between 2 bread sliced to make a sandwich. This is one variant of the urulai roast.

Yukon gold potatoes are my favorite for this recipe. Cook it till it’s soft so we can mash it well.

Use any whole spices and spice powders you like. I have used sambar powder, a very common way of adding flavor to dry curries in Tamil cuisine.

You can try this with sweet potato as well.

Recipe : Urulai Roast

Prep time : 20 minutes Cook time : 20 minutes Spice level : 🌶🌶 Serves 4

Note: if you do not have access to Indian spices and spice powders, add any spice mix of your choice. It will taste delish no matter what spice blend you use, make it your own !

Ingredients :

  • Yukon gold potatoes – 4 large ones – quartered
  • Sambar powder – 2 Tablespoon (use store bought, Aachi is my favorite)
  • Salt to taste
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Onion – 1 medium (I have used red)

For Tempering :

  • Mustard seeds – black – 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Asafoetida – 1/8 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves – 4 or 5 (optional)
  • Split Bengal Gram – 1 Tablespoon (use crushed peanuts for a unique flavor and crunch instead).
  • Oil – 2 to 3 Tablespoon

How To :

Steam or boil or pressure cook the potatoes until they are soft. I placed the quarters in a steamer insert and cooked it in the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker for 8 minutes on High pressure.

Once the IP pressure settles, remove the potatoes and let cool on the counter.

Once cool enough to handle, peel the skin off and mash them to look like a crumble. See last picture.

In a skillet, add oil of choice, once it heats up, add mustard seeds, wait for it to crackle. Then add the Bengal gram, cumin seeds, curry leaves , asafoetida. Fry until dal turns light golden in color. Keep the Heat on medium.

Now add the onions and turmeric, fry until golden brown or until caramelized, your choice. Add a pinch of salt to help onions cook faster.

Finally add the crumbled potatoes, salt to taste and the sambar powder. The key is to roast it low and slow, that way you can reduce the amount of oil needed to fry.

Keep mixing it and turning it over every minute so we get a uniform browning on the potatoes. Takes about 5 to 7 minutes to get a nice thin crisp coating.

Once it looks roasted enough for you, turn off the heat and serve it hot and crispy with either steamed rice or rotis or eat it as is !

We hope you devour it like we do! Thank you for stopping by 🙂 !

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