So here we go again, another good use of Turmeric. This is a delicious vegetarian dish well known in the middle east as ‘battata harra’ which means spicy potatoes (as in chilli). It is so easy and quick to prepare and honestly, requires zero cooking skills (except for boiling the potatoes if you consider this a skill) simply because the spices here are the stars of the dish really… they do all the hard work for you!
There is something really special about using the seeds form of spices instead of the ground form, and this is the whole idea of this dish, I think. I have used two of the most popular spices in Egypt, Cumin and Coriander seeds, which when sizzled with fresh garlic give an instant Egyptian cuisine aroma that always makes me feel like I’m having dinner at my grandma’s house, and so I thought I’d call this dish ‘Egyptian spiced potatoes’ even though it’s not really an Egyptian dish. I have to say, It’s more popular in turkey, Lebanon and the Gulf States. I have also added a pinch of fennel seeds which I thought worked really well, and last but definitely not least some powerful finely grated turmeric root (leftover from my previous drink recipe.. check it out!). I then balanced the flavours with a burst of lime, a kick of chilli and some fresh coriander leaves.Just Yum!!
This dish can be served as a side dish to almost any grilled or roasted meat whether it’s chicken, lamb or beef. It’s also a winner vegetarian lunch idea, it can be eaten hot or at room temperature, so it’s perfect to pack on a picnic or for kids in school lunch boxes, but just remember to minus the chilli for the little ones.
I loooove how the natural vibrant yellow colour of the turmeric instantly coats the outside of the potatoes, makes it very appetizing!!
- 1 kg unpeeled baby potatoes washed.(you can use normal size potatoes and cut them later into bite-size pieces)
- 5 tablespoons regular(good quality) olive oil plus extra for serving.
- 2 tablespoons fresh and finely grated turmeric(or 1 tablespoon ground turmeric)
- 4-5 garlic cloves
- 2 fresh chilli, seeded and finely chopped (adjust chilli to your taste)
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 bunch of fresh coriander, chopped (use some of the stems too)
- juice of 2 limes plus teaspoon of the lime zest
- place the washed potatoes in a large sauce pan, add a teaspoon of salt and cover with cold water.(about 2-3 litres of water)
- put the pan on high heat, bring the water to boil.
- reduce heat to medium and boil for 5-8 mins or until cooked but still firm.
- lightly crush coriander, cumin and fennel seeds in a mortar with a pestle just to combine flavours but still keeping most of the texture (this step is optional you can use seeds without crushing)
- drain potatoes and wash with cold water then drain again.
- cut baby potatoes in halves (or normal size potatoes into bite-size pieces), set aside.
- in a heavy-based pan heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil, stir in cumin and coriander seeds then add chilli and garlic, stir for 1 minute on low-medium heat. (careful not to burn the garlic)
- now stir in turmeric then toss in the potatoes, coating them gently (don't squash potatoes) with the spices and watching them change into the turmeric vibrant yellow colour.
- season well with salt and pepper to your taste (you can taste now)
- add the lime juice and zest, mix ingredients gently, then toss in most of coriander leaves and stems reserving some leaves for serving.
- just before serving drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil on top.
- serve hot with lime wedges as an accompaniment to a main dish or at room temperature on its own.
- Turmeric has a natural colour that can stain your hands and clothes.