When it comes to food waste the biggest culprit in our house has to be potatoes. I don’t think I throw out any other fresh fruit or vegetable as much as I do the humble spud. I think it’s because you can’t buy anything except baking potatoes by weight in supermarkets any more. Unless it’s Jersey Royals season – when you can usually pick those up loose too. Everything else comes in 2kg+ bags – fine for families or if you’re planning on eating them every night that week. Less good when there’s just the two of us. To try and cut down on the wastage I’ve been trying out some different ways of using them up before they go into the compost bin. My Easy Sag Aloo was part of this, as normally we don’t have sides like that when I cook curry at home. On that occasion I prepared less rice and used the potatoes instead. The same is true with these Spiced Potato Cakes, which accompanied my Chicken Tikka Kebabs in lieu, once again, of rice.
I doubt that these potato cakes could be considered authentic in any way, but they’re a rather tasty addition to dinner. The mash itself remains soft and fluffy, with a lovely golden shell forming as they cook. I’ve not gone too bold with the flavours here – using just chilli, garam masala and cumin to banish any risk of blandness. Also, as these were only made as a quick side dish I’ve not added much in the way of filling. A few spring onions bring texture but if you wanted these to form a main meal you could add in a range of chopped vegetables (like cauliflower or spinach), peas or beans too. The one thing I would stipulate is looking out for Gram Flour (made from chickpeas) to bind these together. It helps the potato cakes stick together but avoids the gluey consistency you can sometimes get from wheat flour. It’s available in most large supermarkets these days and is certainly worth keeping in the cupboard.
Spiced Potato Cakes
These lightly spiced potato cakes have a wonderful flavour thanks to the addition of garam masala and chilli. They’re probably not traditionally Indian but they’ll be a welcome addition to any curry night.
Course: Side DishCuisine: Indian, Side Dishes Servings: 4 Calories: 199kcal
400 g Potatoes
3 Spring Onions thinly sliced
1 tsp Green Chilli deseeded and chopped
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Cumin
½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 tbsp Gram Flour
3 tbsp Vegetable Oil
Peel the potatoes and cut into large chunks. Put into a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Place over a high heat, cover loosely and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes until just tender. Drain then mash the potatoes until smooth. Allow to cool. Mix together the spring onions, chilli and spices in a large bowl. Add the mashed potato and mix thoroughly – you may be best off using your hands for this. Sprinkle over the gram flour and stir through the potatoes to help stiffen the mixture. Allow to rest for a few minutes before proceeding. Divide the mixture into 8-12 portions, depending on how many people you’re feeding and how big you want the potato cakes to be. Form each into a round disc, around 1cm in thickness. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Carefully lower the potato cakes into the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes until golden and crisp. Turn over and repeat on the other side.