The Chettinad cuisine is known for the excellent uses of spices. The are variety dishes with variety spices and the way of using the spices and chillies differs this cuisine from other cuisines prevalent in TamilNadu or Southern states.Not just spicy veg or non vegetarian dishes, there are distinct Chettinad snack or tiffin items as well. But I always give preference to spicy sides and was so happy when I zeroed in on Urulai Chettinad - from Vidhya's Blog with whom I was paired with for BlogHopWednesdays 10 by Radhika.
Baby Potatoes : atleast 15
Mustard: 1/4 tsp
CurryLeaves: few fresh
Pearl onions/ Shallots: chopped around 1/4 cup
Turmeric Powder: 1-2 pinches
Salt: as per taste
Urad Dal: 2 tbsp
Chana Dal:1 tbsp
Dried Red Chillies:5
Pepper: 5+ as per taste. Adjust according to the heat of chillies
Sesame Seeds: 2 tsp
Steam/Cook the potatoes and peel them. If they are too big to be consumed in one bite, halve them. You can also use regular potatoes chopped up, though the baby ones are preferable.You can also parboil the potatoes or even partially cook them. Make sure they do not turn into mush/mash. The shape should be retained.
Dry roast all the spices in the spice mix till fragrant and the sesame starts popping. Remove from fire and cool. Grind to a fine powder and keep aside.
Heat oil in a deep pan and add mustard seeds. Once they splutter,add the shallots and curry leaves and saute till the shallots caramelize. Add in the cooked potatoes, 1-2 spoons of the spice powder you have made,turmeric and salt. Mix well and saute for a few minutes until the flavours blend with the potatoes.
If you are using raw/half cooked potatoes, add in just enough water at this stage and bring to boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer and let them cook till done and the water evaporates.
Serve as sensational side to rice or even as a spicy starter.
A hearty and spicy dish with the spices providing the necessary warmth in winter and of course the hero potatoes. Potatoes in all the form and all/any the time is acceptable for me.