Tuesday 2 October 2012

Spice up your spuds

In season - new potatoes

With the cold weather approaching, my desire to eat warming foods increases. Indian cuisine is what I have been craving for this week. Reading a magazine the other day, I saw this recipe of tandoori new potatoes from Anjum Anand. It switched on my taste buds immediately. That was exactly what I was looking for: an uncomplicated Indian dish. I had some new potatoes which I got in the farmer’s market and I decided to make them straight away..

This recipe was perfect as a nibble but you can also make it as a starter or have it as a side to roast meat. A small dish was enough to satisfy my cravings that evening.

The ingredients
The ingredients for the tandoori mix
Place the boiled new potatoes in the bowl and
coat them with the marinade
The ingredients for the topping
Put all the ingredients for the topping into a bowl..
...and mix
Place the marinated new potatoes in a tray
Cook for 25 min or until the marinade looks dried
Then turn the potatoes over and move the tray to
the top shelf and let it cook for 8-10 minutes more.
My spicy new potatoes ready to be devoured!

Spicy new potatoes  adapted from Anjum Anand’s recipe
Serves 4

In Anjum’s recipe she uses either raisins or cranberries for the topping but I am a huge fan of bittersweet barberries, not only for their tartness that goes well with other flavours but for the great amount of nutrients they contain.


12 new potatoes

For the tandoori marinade
140g sheep’s yoghurt  (or goat’s/greek yoghurt)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp chilli powder (or more if you would like it spicier)
1 tsp paprika
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Thumb sized piece of ginger grated
2 tbsp olive oil
1 ½ tbsp lemon juice, or to taste

For the topping
250g sheep’s yoghurt
Handful coriander leaves, chopped
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped, or to taste
2 tbsp dried barberries*, soaked in warm water, then drained
* You can find dried barberries in Middle Eastern or international food markets.


In a large saucepan, add water and salt. Let it boil, add the halved new potatoes and boil for 8 minutes.

To prepare the tandoori sauce, mix all ingredients in a bowl. Add 1 tsp sea salt. Place the boiled new potatoes in the bowl and coat them with the marinade. Leave them for at least 30 min.

Now mix all the ingredients for the topping. Add ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, then season to taste. Reserve.

Heat the oven to 200C. Put the potatoes, flat side up, on a baking tray and place it in the middle shelf of the oven. Cook for 25 min or until the marinade looks dried. Then turn the potatoes over and move the tray to the top shelf and let it cook for 8-10 minutes more.
Turn again and cook for 8-10 minutes.  Put some topping onto each potato half and serve immediately.

Some of the ingredients and their health benefits

Barberry (Berberis vulgaris): it could be called the “wonder herb”. The berries, which contain high amounts of vitamin C, can be made into a general health tonic that can promote energy and vitality. Barberry contains a compound called berberine, which is well known for helping to cure bacterial infections, preventing the bacteria from sticking to human cells. It has anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties, and has been used to treat infection of the urinary tract. It contains another compound called berbamine, which helps in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. It has anti-parasitic properties and acts as an immune system stimulant that aids digestion. Barberry can control the mucosa, removing excess secretion and catarrh. It can dilate blood vessels, aiding lowering blood pressure.
Caution:  It is not advisable to purchase fresh barberries due to the toxicity that some species present unless you trust the source. Otherwise, only buy the dried ones. They should be red to dark red in colour. People suffering from hyperthyroidism condition and people with excessive flatulence should avoid them.

New Potato (Solanum tuberosum): it is mildly diuretic, lubricates the intestines, tones the pancreas. Potato reduces inflammation, relieving arthritis and rheumatism. It is a good source of vitamin C, minerals and enzymes. It is a great accompaniment to meat, as its rich potassium content balances out the high sodium content of the meat.

Till next week!

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