bits and pieces

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Curry Roasted Potatoes with Date Chutney

Curry Roasted Potatoes with Date Chutney
These humble potatoes are now ruling my life. I am often a busy busy girl. I'm sure many of you can relate. I also don’t eat meat, so sometimes making a fast dinner that feels like a meal is hard. Sometimes I get lazy and don’t want to spend any time on food. These are the times I usually succumb to the call of a grilled cheese, mac and cheese, or other cheese based products. And don’t get me wrong – cheese is great. It’s just nice to have alternatives. I've been particularly busy these past two weeks and subsequently have had two potato centered dinners.

ALTERNATELY – these are a super tasty ‘ooh-you-fancy’ side to things. Easy. Cheap. Fun. Tasty. If you want to spend the 7 minutes to make the chutney (aside: MAKE THE CHUTNEY. IT IS INTEGRAL) you will be a happy, happy potato person. I've made these as a side with steak, with blackened fish, with Cajun shrimp, and as noted above, as a lazy person’s dinner. Yes, I know curry roasted potatoes are nothing exciting or particularly challenging, but this date chutney is completely outrageous.

Now some of you will say ‘hey – potatoes aren’t a whole meal’ to which I’ll respond ‘shut up, I’m irish-ish’. I kid. Except about the Irish part. My hair is getting redder every day. Apparently in my mid-20s I am suddenly a red head. I was blonde in my under 10s, a brunette in my teens, and now gingery in my 20s. God knows what my 30s will bring.

But anyway NO – this is not a Canada food guide, wholly balanced blah blah blah. But I can cut up two potatoes. Put them in my oven. Stir them. Wait. Steal one and eat it too soon. Burn mouth. Cool mouth. Remove from oven. Eat delicately, avoiding burned tongue. And unless for some reason you’re avoiding all starches, potatoes aren't a ‘bad food’. They’re full of potassium, low in fat, and full of vitamins like B6 and C. Avoid scurvy. Avoid food guilt. Eat potatoes.

3 large-ish russet potatoes/3 cups new potatoes/any potatoes, skin on, diced 
1 tsp curry powder 
½ tsp turmeric 
A sprinkle of cumin (optional) 
¼ tsp chili powder (optional – I like a little hint of spice) 
½ tsp of sea salt 
2 tbsp olive oil 

Chutney ingredients: 

½ cup dates 
½ cup of pineapple juice – I normally have a tin of canned pineapples somewhere which I then drain. I'm sure you could use orange juice or some lemon juice and water alternately. I never have - I always seem to have delicious pineapple on hand. 
1 generous tbsp fresh ginger 
1 tsp garam masala 
½ tsp salt 
½ cup almonds/pistachios/walnuts/cashews – I’ve adopted this recipe out of a great cookbook called Big Vegan Cookbook. The original recipe calls for pistachios but I use whatever I have. 

Other things you will need: 

A baking sheet 
A large bowl 
A frying pan to toast your spices (optional) 
A sauce pan for the chutney 
A second baking sheet/dish for roasting your nuts 
A food processor, immersion blender, or alternately a masher of sorts and a lot of rage to work out 

  1. Preheat your oven to 425. If you are a spice-toaster, toast your spices. If you are not a spice toaster, now is the time to become a spice toaster. Think of the brief toast you’ll give them in a frying pan as opening up all the yummy flavour held within their powdery goodness. 
  2. In a large bowl, toss your potatoes with the spices, salt, and olive oil. Toss those suckers in the oven and set your timer for 20 minutes. 
  3. Now it’s chutney making time. Add your salt, ginger, dates, and pineapple juice to a sauce pan and set to high heat. While you’re waiting for this mixture to come to a boil, toss your nuts on a baking tray and pop it in the oven (ONLY LEAVE THESE IN FOR A FEW MINUTES. BURNING YOUR NUTS IS SAD AND EXPENSIVE). Remove from the oven after about 3 minutes. Set aside. 
  4. As soon as your mixture comes to a boil, turn down to low, and cover. Leave over low heat for 5 minutes. 
  5. Once the 5 minutes are up, pour this mixture and the nuts into your food processor and give it a few pulses. You may need to add a couple tbsp of water, but this should be thick like a fig jam, not runny – although really, if you want your chutney runny – there is absolutely no reason it can’t be. Once your chutney is pulverized (I like to still be able to see and feel the nuts), pop it in the fridge. It will keep for a couple weeks if you keep it covered and cool. 
  6. After the 20 minutes are up, stir your potatoes around a bit, and pop them back in for another 20 minutes. I KNOW. Life is hard. After the 40 minutes are up, dish em out, give yourself a generous dollop of the date chutney, and enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. Margherita VittorelliAugust 23, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    These potatoes are delicious and now my boyfriend's favourite. This means they have defeated mashed potatoes, and that is a remarkable accomplishment.
    Also, this blog is addictive.