Bombay Patatas Bravas

Serves 4   Active Time 20 min.   Total Time 60 min.

Ingredients

 

1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
4 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters 
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons butter 
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
1 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon garam masla 
1 tablespoon chili powder 
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tomatoes, chopped 
Small handful fresh cilantro leaves, minced

Directions

 

  1. Heat 2 quarts water in a large pot over high heat until boiling. Add kosher salt, baking soda, potatoes and stir. Simmer, for 10-15 minutes or until a knife meets little resistance when inserted into a potato chunk. 

  2. Meanwhile, cook olive oil, butter and onions over medium heat for three minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook for another minute, constantly stirring and shaking pan. Now add spices, cook for 2 minutes. Immediately strain oil through a fine-mesh strainer into a large bowl. Set onion mixture aside and reserve separately.

  3. Drain cooked potatoes in a colander, then place in bowl with the reserved oil. Shake the bowl back and forth a few times to coat the potatoes and fluff up the edges.

  4. Transfer potatoes to a baking sheet or cast iron skillet, spreading them out evenly. Place in oven and roast for 20 minutes without moving. Turn and shake the potatoes a few times during cooking, 30 to 40 minutes longer. Roast until they are golden brown and crisp all over. 

  5. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl and add onion mixture, tomatoes and cilantro. Toss to coat and season with more salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a dipping sauce.

Secret to recipe success:


- Large coal shaped pieces of potato maximize the contrast between exterior and interior.
- Precooking the potatoes with baking soda (alkaline) water breaks down their surfaces, creating soft starchy slurry as they roast giving the surface area a beautiful crunch.
- Infusing the oil with spices and aromatics gives the potato crust extra flavor.


Ways you can go wrong:

1. Using the wrong potato. I use Idaho as they have a high starch content, which helps the potato become fluffy. Yukon Gold potatoes are also a great option, but they will be a little more dense and creamier inside.
2. Overcooking the potatoes. The size of your potato will determine the cooking time. I would say it could range from 10-17 minutes. If you over cook them, you are best to make a potato cake. 
3. Roasting onion mixture and potatoes in oven. It is best not to combine the onion mixture and potatoes until they have roasted. Cooking them together will cause the onions to burn and become bitter. 
4. Serving cold potatoes. Roasted potatoes are always best served hot or warm. You can keep them warm in your oven at 225 degrees until ready to serve.

© 2016 Jon Ashton