Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Potato Stew with Cumin and Green chiles



I have been told numerous times to keep moving forward and not dwell on the past. I beg to defer on this. Nostalgia is a beautiful feeling and once in a while it never hurts to dwell on our past. Looking back we can see how far we have come, perhaps things we could have handled differently and most important of all it can bring back  those long lost culinary memories. 





When I traveled across the globe, I was introduced to a whole new culinary world full of vibrant flavors. I fell in love with the pastas, sea food was my new best friend and don't even get me started on the crush I have on cheese cakes, peanut butter and hash browns. 

Hash browns are nothing but shredded pan fried potatoes. I grew up eating potatoes all my life, yet there was something  irresistible about these hash browns. 

One day while I was peeling  potatoes with the sole intention of turning them in to the much desired hash browns, my culinary nostalgia  took over me. I was reminded of my grandma's potato stew.It took me back in time to the little kitchen in which my grandma created culinary masterpieces filled with flavor and love. I wanted to feel that love in my kitchen. I wanted to bring her and my memories back to my own kitchen.


This dish is a perfect example of how we don't need ten different exotic ingredients to create some thing exceptional. The cumin and green chiles are the stars here and on top of that you add in a touch of love. Nothing can surpass that.

2 cups of boiled potatoes coarsely mashed in to big chunks.

1 medium onion, chopped.

1 tsp of turmeric

1 tsp of cumin seeds

2 green chilis, slit lengthwise.

1 tsp of grated ginger

2-3 cloves of minced garlic

1 tsp of fresh ground black pepper

2 cups of water

salt



Heat a tsp of olive oil.

when the oil is hot add the cumin seeds and green chili.

After about 20 - 30 seconds add the ginger and garlic.

Turn the heat to low and let them cook for a minute or so. Make sure the garlic and cumin are not burnt.

Add the onions and  turmeric powder and let them cook, until the onions are translucent.

Add the boiled, mashed potatoes. The potatoes shouldn't be completely mashed. I usually break them with my hand in to big chunks.

Stir in the potatoes and add the 2 cups of water.

Let the water come to boil, add the black pepper and salt.

Cover the pan and let it cook for 5 minutes.

Turn off the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes.

The stew is ready.





Sometimes all it takes is a blast from the past to add some spice and joy to my otherwise mundane day. Once I finished cooking the potatoes, my kitchen smelled like my grandmom's. The hash browns can wait, I need to go back in time and devour those delicious memories and soak in the flavors of love.


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