Aloo Jeera - Cumin Roasted Potatoes

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Since the time I took these pictures and wrote this post, I will admit that we made these potatoes at least 10 times. Yes! 10 times! And believe you me, none of those were made by me. 

My kids are drawn to the attractive combination of ease of prep and full of flavour that they actually found a more efficient way to cook them ... in the griller. Yes! Indeed, Belle has come up with a way to cook these in the George Foreman grill and she is elated that she will be able to whip these up when she leaves for London this summer. Aloo jeera is her saviour when she comes home hungry after a long day at work. And she is content just savouring it on its own.

So yes, if my teenage kids can conquer this, so can you, or your teenage kids. It's as easy as it's pleasing. While other recipes boil, then fry the potatoes, I find it a bit too tedious. So I just pop them in the oven. They crisp up just fine. Seriously, what's better than an unattended dish cooking while you do other stuff? And you can see that we didn't even bother to peel the potatoes. After all, it's chock full of fiber and iron, and do I need my iron.

While aloo jeera is traditionally enjoyed as a side dish to a gravy-rich main, who is to say it can't be part of a potato scramble? This I learnt from my kids :) Grape tomatoes, eggs, mushrooms, zucchini and avocado have been involved in a hearty dish by way of aloo jeera. I'm sure you'll find many more possibilities. 

4 potatoes (or 1 for each person as a side dish)
4 tbsp vegetable oil
4 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder
2 tsp sea salt, or to taste

To serve:
Lemon juice

1. Wash and scrub the potatoes, getting rid of black eyes.
2. Cut into 2 cm cubes and lay them on a kitchen towel to absorb excess moisture.
3. Preheat the oven to 175C or 350F and prepare a parchment lined baking sheet.
4. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes, the oil, the spices and salt.
5. Spread the potato cubes in an even layer on the baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until they soften on the inside and turn golden. 
6. You may want to toss and turn them 30 minutes into the cooking time. Make sure to rearrange them evenly on the baking sheet again. 
Check doneness by piercing the thickest cube with a skewer, if it slides out easily, they are done.
7. Squeeze some lemon juice and garnish with fresh cilantro to serve.

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