Herb-Roasted Baby Potatoes

When planning a party for a large group of people, you are constantly on the lookout for dishes or ingredients that can be cooked simply, quickly, and in large batches. Potatoes fit the bill perfectly as they are versatile enough to fit into any course of the meal. The ‘Herb-Roasted Baby Potatoes’ dish works wonders as a starter because you can let the oven roast the potatoes evenly while you get time to focus on other things. And who does not like crisp potatoes with a shining layer of butter glistening away on them! Getting a high quality butter will definitely enhance the flavour of this dish. Serve them on skewers for your guests to have firm hold on the potatoes.

Recipe Details :
Serves: 8-10 pax
Time: 90 mins
Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients :

  • 2 kgs baby potatoes , scrubbed and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 stick of unsalted butter, cut into thin slices
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Herb-roasted baby potatoes

Herb-roasted Baby Potatoes


Method:

  • In a pan, place the potatoes and cover with water. Add salt to it and stir it well. Bring the water to a boil over high flame.
  • Once a lot of bubbles have come in the boiling phase, lower the flame and let the potatoes cook slowly till the water evaporates. This will take about 30 mins. At this stage, switch off the flame. The potatoes will now be covered in salt.
  • Wash the potatoes in tap water to remove the excess salt.
  • While the potatoes are boiling, start the prep work for seasoning. Combine the shallot, garlic, parsley and thyme in a food processor. Pulse to mix the ingredients. Add in the butter chunks and pulse to form a homogeneous mixture. Your herb butter is ready at this stage.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Adjust the oven rack to middle position. Prepare a roasting tray / 9 x 13 pan and line it with a baking sheet or aluminium foil.
  • Heat the herb butter in a saucepan on medium flame till it melts.
  • Toss the potatoes along with half of the melted butter in a bowl. Transfer this to baking pan and roast in the oven, shaking the pan occasionally, for about 20 mins. The potatoes should have crisped all over.
  • Transfer the crispy potatoes to a large bowl and toss in the remaining the herb butter. Garnish it with salt and pepper and serve hot. The potatoes would have soaked in all the flavours of the herbs and the potato skins should have gotten wrinkly giving you a perfect party appetizer.

Tips:

  • Keep an eye on the potatoes as they boil. Turn off the gas once the water has evaporated.
  • You can add other flavours to the herb butter as well – for a spicy kick, toss in some paprika or chilli flakes.
  • If you do not have access to fresh herbs, just use readymade Italian seasoning.
  • If you are in Singapore, then buy the baby potatoes from wet markets. They sell a bunch in a single packet.

Dill leaves Fritters / Dill leaves Pakoda

On rainy weekends, fritters (bhajjis, pakoras – call them what you want!) make an ideal pairing for evening tea. I wanted something crunchy, but also something quick. As you would have read, I avoid deep frying and prefer to eat healthy. I have made dips using dill leaves before and know that dill has an strong inherent flavour. If overused, it can overwhelm the dish. To use an analogy, its almost like what fennel imparts to a broth. While frying, the aroma was strong, but the crispiness that the fritters had was mind-blowing. Pakodas is an Indian term used to describe such type of fritters. I never knew that dill would taste so good when combined with chickpea flour and other spices. I opted to shallow fry in a small pan and after frying, I used an absorbent paper to remove any oil that was left. The golden brown colours of the pakoda combined with the delicious taste will leave you wanting for more 🙂

Recipe Details :
Makes: 8 pieces
Time: 20 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 1/2 cup dill leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 cup besan/chickpea flour
  • 3 tbsp rice flour
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3/4 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Salt to taste
  • A pinch of asafoetida (optional)
  • 5 tbsp oil, for frying

Method:

  • Take the besan and rice flour in a bowl. Add turmeric powder, garam masala powder, cumin powder, asafoetida and sesame seeds to this bowl and mix well.
  • Once the spices are mixed well, add the chopped onions, green chillies and dill leaves.
  • Now add the water in the measure of 1 tbsp each time and keep mixing till you get a thick batter.
Dill pakoda shallow frying

Dill pakoda shallow frying

  • Take oil in a shallow pan and drop two small balls of the batter as shown in the pic above. The pan should be on low flame and with a spoon, slowly turn the batter for the other side to fry evenly.
Dill leaves pakoda

Dill leaves pakoda

  • Once the fritters look golden brown, remove them on an oil-absorbent paper. They will look as tempting as it is seen in the above pic – it is best served hot! It did taste amazing with my evening tea. As accompaniments, either ketchup or coriander chutney can be paired with it else it tastes as good on its own too 🙂

Tips:

  • You can deep fry them as well. I just preferred to shallow fry. Use a low-med flame while frying.
  • Do not add too much water to the batter. It needs to be thick.