Skip to main content

Minty 'Marriage proposal' potatoes

The Year: 1999, October. I'd just been set up with this handsome Mathematician from Bell Labs and by all accounts hit off wonderfully (set-ups in the South Indian lingo is ALWAYS keeping the long term prognosis , i.e Marriage, in mind). So here I was like a typical Indian girl, taking the BIG step of inviting the guy home for Lunch. Ringing up a huge bill calling my mother back in India about what I should make. 

Given my mother's traditional roots, of course she suggested a South Indian Menu, keeping in mind 'HIS' preferences. (once the girl gets hitched, her dietary preferences are tossed into permanent storage, its all about what the Son-in-law (or Son in law to be) likes). & in my true characteristic style, I ignored 1/2 of what she said. 

I set off to make a jumble of dishes that completely refused to complement each other, one of them being these amazing stuffed baby potatoes (minus the Feta cheese, since I don't believe I'd even tasted it then, leave alone being addicted) slow cooked in a cream sauce. He must have liked the food I cooked, even though he now complains that he lives on 'prototypes' (the 'loving' term he uses for my never ending stream of Panfusine recipe creations, Good, bad & the ugly) and has resigned himself to the fact that our 6 year old son has been converted into a die hard Foodie at such a tender age! 

 Cream Sauce: (Makes 6 servings)

  • 4 tablespoons Clarified butter (Ghee) or plain unsalted butter
  • 4-5 arils mace
  • 5-6 Cardamom pods (smashed like you'd smash a clove or garlic)
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Ginger, Chopped
  • 1 Fresh Green or red Thai Chile
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 cup Cashew nuts
  • 1 large onion, (I prefer white, but the red ones will do in a pinch)
  • 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups reduced, low fat or even skim milk
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint crushed to a coarse powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch of Turmeric
Make a fine paste of the ginger, garlic and chile. set aside. Using the same blender /processor jar, make a fine paste of the Cashew nuts & onion, Set aside separately.

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter / ghee in a skillet and add the crushed cardamom pods and the mace, swirl around until the spices begin to give out their aroma. Add the ginger/garlic/chile mix. Fry until the paste turns a golden brown. Next, add the Onion-Cashew paste and fry using the remaining ghee until the mix loses the aroma of raw onion. Add the crushed mint & turmeric and mix well.

Immediately add the crushed tomatoes, mix in and cook, covered, on low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the milk, stirring well, one cup at a time ( the choice of milk is up to you depending upon the level of creaminess you prefer. I opt for skim milk since the cashew is rich enough). Add salt & adjust for seasoning. Keep covered while you prep the potatoes (next part of the recipe)

Minty potatoes:

  • 12-14 sprigs Fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro
  • 1 Fresh Green or red Thai Chile, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 cup Feta Cheese
  • 1 tablespoon powdered Sumac
  • 14 small round Red potatoes (about 1.5 - 2 inches in circumference)
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 2 tablespoons chick pea flour
  • plenty of wooden toothpicks cut to a 1 inch size
  • Finely chopped fresh mint for garnish 

Parboil the potatoes in salted water until its possible to peel the skin, but they're still firm inside (use one of the potatoes as a guinea pig for testing the firmness). Mix the chickpea flour in a cup with as little water as required to make into a thick paste. (Season with some salt if desired).

Cool the potatoes. Without peeling them, slice off about 1 cm off the top of the potato. Reserve this 'lid' taking care to ensure that the lids are matched up with the rest of the tuber. Using a 'butter curler' or a melon baller, gently scoop out a hollow. Keeping the peel on helps in ensuring that the potato does not break. You may choose to peel the skin off after hollowing them or after filling the potatoes with the mint & feta mix.

Combine the mint, cilantro, chile, lime juice, Sumac & Feta in the food processor and blend into a semi smooth paste. Fill the hollow with the mint feta mix.

Brush the 'lids' with the chickpea paste and press on, securing the stuffed potato tight with 2 toothpicks. As an added precaution brush along the cut seam with some paste as well Do not leave out the chickpea paste step out.. (You'll have a row of little alien potatoes with toothpick antennae).

Heat oil in a cast iron wok and deep fry the potatoes in batches until uniformly brown, Transfer onto kitchen towels to absorb excess oil and allow to cool completely. Once cool, gently remove the toothpicks and tally the count . The Chickpea paste ensures that the potato remains in one piece. The lid will fall off otherwise.

 Heat the oven to 225 F. Place the potatoes in a ceramic square baking dish & pour the cashew sauce over. Cover completely with Aluminum foil crimping over the edges. Make slits for the steam to vent and pace in the oven to gently cook for about 1 hour. Garnish liberally with chopped mint prior to serving with rice, roti , lavash or any other flat bread.

Bon appetit!


  1. very delicious curry..goodd 2 refresh d old memories wid d food

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Lovely write-up and even lovelier recipe :-)


  4. Great memories and great recipe too! May we hope for the rest of the recipes from that memorable day's lunch too?
    Little wonder your husband fell for you!!
    Love your site and recipes.

    1. Thanks Rajani, The Kumquat cranberry rasam..Its been posted.. just not sure where..

  5. Anything with potatoes and I'm sold! Nice story to these potatoes, too.

    I think I would probably eat the stuffed potatoes as soon as they're fried. They sound delicious even without the creamy sauce.

    1. LOL.. That exactly what the 2 extra guinea pig potatoes are for. Scarfing down in the name of 'testing'

  6. Oh wow, Potatoes that get you hitched? I'm sure these would be good for getting new jobs, winning a million dollars (just present them to the game show host)...and a lot of other things! Thank you!!


Post a Comment

I'd love to hear feedback from you, your thoughts, ideas and suggestions.

Popular posts from this blog

Sputtering back....

I seriously feel like this scene from the movie 3 idiots .. remember this one? The way I kept racking up drafts and eventually stopped doing that as well. Lulled into complacence by the quick high from Instagram posts. Recipe measurements hastily scribbled into a Moleskine notebook faithfully depending upon my moods. The truth is that I keep over thinking the backstories needed to make the post more interesting while in reality the truth is that ideas and inspirations just occur spontaneously (like little itches , sneezes or twitches) whenever the opportunity happens to strike. Some really cool ideas that scare the beejeezus out of me and yet prove to be utterly delightful and simple in the end. Others, that seem so trivial that I feel it wouldn't be worth crowing about -- even if there are enough other recipes in that genre that get so much publicity simply because the author happens to have the right marketing knack. So in the past 4 years that I've been

Product Review: Ninja Mega Kitchen system and a recipe for Masala Dosa

 One of the biggest reasons for attending conferences is the priceless experience of meeting fellow bloggers and get an invaluable exposure to all things  culinary. This includes vendors with new products to savor and get inspiration from. I had no complaints about whatever appliances I had for making traditional Dosa (Traditional South Indian rice & lentil crepes) batter, a sturdy tabletop stone grinder that you could add the Urad dal, turn the timer on , and 30  minutes later, come back to a container full of fluffy, batter with the consistency of whipped egg whites. The The cons of this is the cleaning up, of the various parts, the roller, the grinding bin, the multiple trays on which the rollers need to be placed while transferring the rice & lentil batter, the invariable drips of thick batter on the counter.... you get the point, It takes quite a bit of time. I was pleasantly surprised when the appliance company, Ninja asked me if I'd like to try any of their

Pickling & preserving the Buddha's Hand!

 Got your attention with that sacrilegious sounding title on this post, didn't I? Well, I'm as spiritual as the next person out there, and never in my life will I ever commit that variety of Blasphemy, so nothing to fret about. I still wonder why these curious looking citrus entities (other than the obvious visual reason) were called such. It turns out that these fruits are used as a religious offering to the Buddha. My neighboring Whole Foods Market (which is quite some distance away, in Princeton) had a stock of these weird looking citrus and I must have been the oddball customer who immediately went cuckoo on spotting them. Since I had never seen one before, I immediately went for the biggest fruit with the most tentacles (since they were sold as individual units rather than by weight) The first three 'tentacles' were peeled off for their zest, dried in the oven and went into making a citrus salt for my Food52 Secret Santa .     Making