Thursday, April 15, 2010

Po-taaay-to .. Po-tahhh-to

This may look like an innocent enough potato dish to you lot, but I've been told it has lethal powers. Deadly powers. So much so, that my sister-in-law calls it "Potato Death". And since this dish is based on her recipe, I will submit to her deeper understanding of it.

Here's the thing about sister-in-laws - I don't know much about them! I have one, but I hardly ever see her in that light. Probably because I was on good terms with her way before my feelings for her snotty kid brother came into the picture (sorry DH, but as a rule, all kid brothers are snotty - I know, I have one too). In my culture, there are generally two categories that sisters-in-law fall into. Either she is the friendly confidante who you can go shopping with, arm-in-arm. Or she's the evil queen of darkness. On rare occasions, she may fluctuate between the two. And although I'm fairly certain my SIL doesn't fall into the latter category, she doesn't fit 100% into the former category either. But that's my issue, more than hers. I think I have too much respect and admiration for her to really ever be buddies with her. She's smart, funny, stylish, confident and super-talented, and I think I secretly want to be her! Oh, of course we have a good time together, and enjoy some good laughs - mostly at the expense of DH - but one can't really be close friends with someone who they can't take friendly jabs at from time to time, or tell them things like "you're being an idiot". You know what I mean? Of course you do, because you're very intelligent, dear readers!

Still, I love my SIL, and one of the things I love about her is that she doesn't hog recipes. Even ones that she's famous for. So let's take a looksie at this one, a personal favorite of DH's, might I point out.

Potato "Death" Koftay
Serves 6

Click here for printable recipe

Ingredients for the koftay:
4 medium potatoes, peeled & boiled till tender
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds, lightly crushed
1.5 tsp ginger-garlic paste
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 egg
1/4 cup oil for frying

For the gravy:
1 large onion, sliced
3-4 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds (optional, but I like)
1 bay leaf
1 large cardamom pod (bari elaichi)
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt

1. Mash the boiled potatoes with the green chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and ginger-garlic.

2. Pat the mashed potatoes into a circle as big as the palm of your hand; fill the center with about a tsp of cream cheese, then envelop that in the potato mixture, rolling it into a ball. Repeat till you use up all the potato mixture. Make all the koftay approximately the same size.

3. Beat the egg & season with a little salt and pepper. Heat up the oil in a large skillet. Dip each potato ball into the egg batter, then place in the hot skillet. Shallow fry till brown on all sides. Set aside to drain on a paper towel.

4. In a separate skillet, heat 2 tbsp of the same oil you used for frying the koftay. Drop in the cardamom and bay leaf. Saute the onions till golden.

5. Add in the tomatoes, along with the remaining spices, then simmer the entire thing till the tomatoes soften and form a gravy.

6. Put the koftay into the gravy, and gently incorporate. Once the koftay are heated through (5 mins), turn off the heat, sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve with naan, parathas or roti.

Verdict: This is so devious and delicious with the addition of the cream cheese inside that potato ball! The soft, tangy cheese actually works to balance the spices in this dish, and smooth all the flavors out. She's crafty, that SIL of mine, God bless her. Turns out, this is one of those rare vegetarian dishes that DH claims is perfect as is, and for once I don't hear the "but if only you added some meat" complaint! Which makes this an indispensable recipe in my house.

You know what else I love about my sister-in-law? How much she adores this little guy ...
Ok, admittedly, that face is pretty easy to love. But it simply fills my heart with immense joy, knowing that baby B can look at his aunt and know that she loves him like her own. Maybe if he spends more time with her, some of that creative genius will rub off on him (click HERE to see what I'm talking about. Seriously. You need to see this.) - didn't work with me, but hey, he's young and still has a chance.

By the way, that smile on B's face is also for all my blogger buddies, who have been so kind in sharing hugs and kisses with this kiddo, and asking about him. This current moment has him sleeping on my bed, looking rather angelic. Looking at him now, I can almost forget the havoc he wreaks with my emotions when he turns on his 'tantrum' dial. Almost.


Cool Lassi(e) said...

Baby B is a cutie pie. Love his Angelic smile.
The potato Kofta looks fabulous. Your SIL is a very talented artistic person. I checked out her space and her creations are splendid! Love the "Harmful if swallowed and Dispose with Care-2". And what a weighty resume!

Joanne said...

That boy is one serious cutie. He's going to be a heartbreaker. I can tell.

That potato dish looks amazing! And I'm not even usually a potato person. But you've just rocked my world with it.

I hope my SIL is just as awesome as yours. I better poke and prod my brother to start finding one!

Unknown said...

I like this recipe a lot. Never seen a dish like this before. I am a little afraid of frying with a lot of oil (I'm very accident prone), but I may try this.
Picture of baby is darling :D
MY SIL is evil.
Have a great weekend daaaaaahling.
*kisses* HH
p.s. i have a tantrum dial too

Mari said...

AWWWWW what a cutie!!!! he is getting so big and beautiful!

That recipe looks amazing! I would love that for lunch right now lol

Anonymous said...

Those potato balls in gravy look and sound scrumptious!

Maria said...

Whoa! Those look amazing! Seriously not your everyday potatoes ... soooo much better indeed!

Doppelganger said...

Oooh! That cream cheese filling is so unexpected! and I must say, so perfect. B's smile is perhaps, the only thing that could have distracted me from drooling over those potatoes. That smile says he needs a hug! ;)

Just checked out your SIL's gallery. Wow! B is lucky (Masha Allah) to have such a creative and talented family! I never thought insects could be so beautiful and thoughtprovoking to look at.

Foodiewife said...

You got me on the part with the cream cheese. It's evil, indeed. Man, talking about multi-facet flavors. Gorgeous! That includes baby, too.

Mona said...

Mashallah, your kiddo looks shooo shweeet! :-)

Anything with potatoes is my hubby's weakness. I am sure he will definitely devour this curry. Inshallah will try!

Kerstin said...

SOO adorable - please keep the cute pictures coming :)

And I finally went to the Indian market and have everything to make these on hand - yum!

Yasmeen said...

Love the smile,he is so adorable :D
I'm not so fond of the spuds,but the dish sounds like ultimate to flavor up the blandness.
Sis sure has amazing talent at miniature art :D

Ann said...

Im not a poTAAYto fan.. but this recipe sure seems like a super hit for my taste buds :) Love the million dollor baby smile!

Deeba PAB said...

PO-TAAAAY-TO always calls my name, but have never seen one as good as this. I'm ready to dive straight in Muneeba! Love it lodas, and also the hidden centre. NOM NOMNOM! Thanks for the BIG smile from your precious bundle... makes my heart whoop with joy! So much connect and so muc fun! Take care!! Bigs HUGS Mama!!

Duchess of Tea said...

Darling you packed so much into this post and you did it so beautifully. I read it twice!! Prince B is adorable, hug and kiss him for me and tell him the kiss is from is blog aunt.

Love & Hugs

tasteofbeirut said...


That is one potato dish I love! I think potatoes and spice go so well together and the cream cheese mellows it out! Yum!

Ann said...

Oh my! That dish sounds and looks amazing! Smart move on the cream cheese, I think it would work a ton better than paneer, I am so bookmarking this! Here's a hug for baby B!