Harissa-spiced Marinated Potatoes with Cucumber-Dill Yogurt Sauce


Harissa Potatoes with Yogurt Sauce

Harissa Potatoes with Yogurt Sauce

I have one lovely recipe for marinated baked potatoes on here, which my sister gave me. I thought it time for another. This one’s a little different. For starters, it’s crusted in panko breadcrumbs. Also, it’s spiced with harissa. I bought my harissa, but you can make it if you like. I’ve seen recipes out there on the net. Warning! This recipe calls for 8-10 hours marination time. Also, harissa is super spicy. Taste it before you use it.

The low-fat buttermilk in this recipe is what you get in the US in cartons. If you’re in India, use 2 tbsp sour curds (yogurt) mixed with 2/3 cup warm water instead. The yogurt sauce is essentially a variation on cucumber raita.

You need:

  1. 4-5 small potatoes
  2. 1 tbsp harissa paste
  3. 1 cup low-fat buttermilk, room temperature
  4. 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  5. salt to taste (I didn’t add any)

For the sauce:

  1. 1 cup thick yogurt (ideally Greek yogurt)
  2. 1 tbsp finely chopped dill
  3. 1/4 cup finely chopped English cucumber
  4. salt to taste
Harissa paste and buttermilk

Harissa and buttermilk

How to:

  1. First, mix all the ingredients for the yogurt sauce together, cover, and put it in the fridge. 
  2. Parboil the potatoes. Don’t let them get mushy. Cool in cold water and ice.
  3. Peel the potatoes and if they are not small, cut them in half.
  4. Pierce with a fork.
  5. In a bowl big enough to hold the potatoes, mix the buttermilk and harissa paste. Whisk together.
  6. Place the peeled potatoes in this mixture.
  7. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8-10 hours. Overnight is good, 24 hours even better. potatoes in buttermilk mixture
  8. Take the potatoes out of the fridge after 8-10 hours.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  10. Place the panko breadcrumbs in a plate.
  11. Gently stir the buttermilk to make sure the potatoes are well coated with it, then lift out, shake gently, and roll in the panko.
  12. Cover well with the panko, then place the potatoes on a foil lined, oil sprayed baking dish.
  13. Cook uncovered in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the panko starts to brown.
  14. When it starts to brown, turn on the broiler and broil for a few minutes on each side for a nice browning. Be careful, as the panko can burn very fast. You have to watch it constantly.
  15. Remove from the oven and serve with chilled yogurt sauce.

Beet and Potato Cutlets

I got the idea of combining beets and potatoes from one of Tarla Dalal’s recipes. She uses them to make koftas for curry. But I’m not a big fan of the koftas, and the idea of cutlets sounded real good to me. So here’s my version, which was super tasty.

You need: 1 cup grated beets (beetroot); 1 cup boiled and mashed potatoes; 1 cup breadcrumbs; 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste; 1/2 tsp red chili powder (cayenne); 1/2 tsp garam masala; 1 Hungarian hot wax pepper or other mild pepper (optional); salt to taste (about 3/4 of a tsp is what I would do); 1/2 cup yogurt or sour cream; 1 tbsp chopped dill.

How to:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix all the ingredients except the breadcrumbs in a bowl.
  3. Add enough breadcrumbs to give it enough texture that you can form it into patties (cutlets). You might have to add a little bit at a time, mix it all together, and try to form a cutlet.
  4. How to make a cutlet: pull up a little of the mixture in your hands. Say, about the size of a table-tennis ball. Roll it into a ball. Flatten it gently with your hands until it is about 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick.
  5. If you cannot do this, follow these instructions: If the mash is too sticky, add a little more breadcrumbs and try again. If the mash is too dry (the cutlets have cracks) add some water, a very little bit at a time, and try again. You could also just use a burger press, if you have one.
  6. Once you make your cutlets, place them on a greased oven-proof cookie sheet or in an oven-proof baking dish, and bake for 20 minutes, or until the outside of the cutlets forms a firm crust. Flip them over halfway through (at about 10 minutes).
  7. Mix the dill with the yogurt or sour cream and top the cutlets with it.

We froze these in ziploc bags for about a couple of weeks, and they were fine.

Aloo Chard (Potatoes with Chard)

We’ve had a huge number of tomatoes from our Early Girl plant, and we’ve been trying to figure out what to do with them. Curry vegetables can always use tomatoes, so that was our first idea. We also had quite a bit of chard from our garden, and wanted to use it before the rabbits got to it. And we also had harvested a couple of cayenne peppers. Traditionally, potatoes are cooked with spinach, but I thought chard would be fun. The stems on chard are so crunchy, and rainbow chard is so pretty! So we cooked the potatoes with chard instead.

You need: 4-5 medium potatoes; 4-5 medium tomatoes; 1 big bunch chard (10-15 leaves); 1 medium red onion; 1-2 hot peppers such as cayenne, or other green chilies to taste; 1/2 tsp garam masala; 1 tsp jeera (cumin seeds); 2 tbsp oil; salt to taste. Oh, and a rather large pot to cook it in.

How to:

1. Cut the potatoes, onions, and tomatoes (separately) into 1/2″ pieces.

2.Slice open the peppers and discard the seeds.

3. Heat the oil. Add the cumin and chili peppers.

4. Add the onions and stir.

5. After about 1-2 minutes, add the potatoes. Stir and cover.

6. Stir occasionally. If it sticks to the bottom, add 1/4 cup water.

7. Wash the chard. Cut the stems into 1/2″ pieces and the leaves into long ribbons. Keep them separate and set aside.

8. Add the tomatoes, salt, garam masala, and chard stems to the potatoes. Stir well and cover.

9. When the potatoes are almost done (softened but not mushy), and the tomatoes are mushy, add the chard leaves. Like so: add a handful, stir in, let them wilt, add another handful, and so on until you’ve used them all up.

10. Cover and cook until the potatoes are done.

Eat hot over rice, bread, or with roti or naan.

Aloo Palak (Potatoes with Spinach)

As you know, I’ve been doing a CSA, and I had some spinach left over from the stir-fry I made with some of the other greens. I had stored it in a plastic bag in the fridge and one week on, it was still fresh and green – no wilting. The only other vegetables I had were onions and potatoes. So, aloo-palak it was. It was quite good, and much better than when I used the frozen spinach. We have some chard coming up in the garden, and I think it will be wonderful with chard as well.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 15-20 minutes

You need: Three large potatoes; 3 small bunches baby spinach (or one large bunch regular spinach); 1 small red onion; 1/2 tsp cumin seeds/jeera; 1/2 tsp mustard seeds/sarson; 1/4 tsp turmeric/haldi; 1/4 tsp daily masala or garam masala

How to:

  1. Peel and chop the potatoes into 1/2″ pieces.
  2. Wash, drain, and shred or chop the spinach.
  3. Finely chop the onion.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok/kadhai.
  5. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and daily/garam masala. Stir well and turn the heat down to medium.
  6. Add the onion. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
  7. Add the potatoes. Stir well. Sprinkle salt to taste, and turmeric over the top. Stir well.
  8. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. If it “catches” on the bottom, add 1/4 cup water and stir. Cover again.
  9. Add the spinach. Stir well until they cook down a bit. Cover and cook until potatoes are done (until they are cooked through but not squishy).

Aloo Gobi (Cauliflower with Potato) and Aloo Mattar (Potato with Peas)

Another old favorite!

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20-30 minutes

You need: 2 medium-sized potatoes, peeled or not, cut into 1/4″ cubes; 1 medium-sized cauliflower cut into florets (or 1/2 packet frozen florets); 1/2 tsp each of haldi (turmeric powder) and lal mirch (red chili powder); 1 tsp dhania (coriander) powder; 3-5 curry leaves (kadipatta); 1-2 sabut lal mirch (dried red chilies, optional); salt to taste

How to: Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the jeera, curry leaves, and dried red chilies to it. Turn the heat down to medium-high. When the jeera starts to sputter, add the powdered spices and stir quickly to prevent them from burning. Immediately add the potatoes and salt and stir well. Add the cauliflower and stir again. Add 1/4 cup water, cover, and let it cook until done (potatoes should be soft all the way through and cauliflower should be easy to cut with a spoon). Turn off the heat. Eat with rice or roti, or with yogurt for a really nice flavor.

Variation: Aloo Mattar: replace the cauliflower with one cup fresh or frozen peas.

Marinated baked potatoes

This one’s from my sister (thanks, Ka!) and it’s delicious 🙂

Preparation time: 30 minutes + marinade time

Cooking time: 40 minutes

You need: As many potatoes as you like (at least 4-5); 2-3 cups thick yogurt; 2 tsp minced ginger or ginger paste; 2 tbsp minced garlic or garlic paste; 1 tbsp lemon juice; 1/2 tsp turmeric; and to taste: salt, red chili powder, ground cumin (jeera powder)

How to: Peel the potatoes, cut them into 2″ pieces if needed, and set to boil. I used Yukon Golds, which worked very well. Don’t let them boil too much – they should be done through but not squishy.

Meanwhile, put the yogurt in a bowl and add everything else to it. Mix well.

When the potatoes are done, put them in the bowl with the marinade and cover thoroughly. Marinate at least one hour. The longer you leave them in, the better they will taste. the maximum I’ve gone is three days, so this is a good dish to make in advance for a party.

Take the potatoes out of the marinade and place in an oven-proof dish. Cover with a little marinade (so they don’t dry out) and bake at 350 F for 40 minutes.

Aloo-shimla mirch sabzi (Potato-bell pepper vegetable)


We ate this last night and I have to say, it was damn good. This is an experiment that worked. Mostly, I think, because it only marginally varied from tried-and-true aloo-shimla mirch sabzi.

You need: 2 medium-sized potatoes, diced; 2 medium-sized bell peppers (capsicums), diced; 2-3 curry leaves; 2 dried red chili; 1 tsp jeera (cumin seed); 1/2 tsp each of turmeric, red chili powder, and ground coriander; 1/2 tsp poppy seeds; 1/2 tsp urad dal; 1/2 a small onion, finely chopped; salt to taste; 3 tbsps oil

How to: Heat the oil in a stockpot. Add (in this order): cumin seeds, dried red chili, curry leaves, urad dal, turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder. Stir. Add onion and let it cook for less than a minute. Add the potatoes and salt. Add the poppy seeds. Stir well. Give it the occasional stir and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the peppers, sprinkle a little water over the top, stir well, and cover. Open now and again and give it a stir. Cook till the potatoes are done to your satisfaction.

Edit: Okay, I know most people might not have poppy seeds (khus-khus?) in their kitchen, and it’s really optional. But if you have them, they add a wonderful and subtle flavor.


Podimaas is my favorite way to eat potatoes. It’s mashed potatoes, basically, but the quintessentially South Indian spices have a heady flavor of home. Reminds me of my mom and my grandmother.

You need: 3-4 medium-sized potatoes; 1/2 tsp methi dana (fenugreek seeds); 1/2 tsp dhania dana (coriander seeds); 1/2 tsp mustard seeds; 1 dried red chili; 1 tbsp kadipatta (curry leaves); 1/2 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp red chili powder; 1/2 tsp coriander powder; 1 cup chopped cilantro (dhania patta); 1 tsp lemon juice; salt to taste; oil
How to: Boil the potatoes with salt and turmeric. They should be soft, as for mashed potatoes. Mash them roughly – they don’t need to be finely mashed.

In the meantime, heat the oil; add everything except the potatoes, cilantro and lemon juice. Give it a stir, let it sputter. Add the mashed potatoes. Stir well. Turn off the heat and add the cilantro and lemon juice. Mix well.

I usually eat it with rice and dal or some such thing, but there’s no reason why it can’t go in sandwiches or substitute for a duller potato salad.

Aloo sandwiches

The OH and I did some impulse buying – a waffle iron and a sandwich maker.

I made aloo (potato) sandwiches. They turned out fine, and here’s how.

1. Boil a potato (I used a big one, so only one) in salted water.

2. Cook some peas (I microwave, but you could boil or steam).

3. Mash together.

4. Heat oil. Add mustard seeds, 1/4 tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp chili powder, curry leaves (shredded), let cook a wee bit, add potato-pea mixture, stir well.

5. Prepare bread for sandwich maker. Use aloo filling, and enjoy.

It was really really good. Made me mom-sick. Oh, and for leftovers, try making the potato mash into patties and baking. Eat with cilantro chutney.