Potatoes seem to herd together with the likes of butter/ cream/ cheese or a combination thereof in most western dishes. I tend to use herbs, spices and sometimes other vegetables to flavor my dishes. Spicing dishes with ground whole black mustard seeds is very unique to the West Bengal state in India where I had my first start in life. The dish I am submitting is a modern take on a street food called 'Aloo Daam" which are baby potatoes cooked in a spicy and tart mustard gravy. —vegetarianirvana
What You'll Need
whole black mustard seeds
large cloves of peeled garlic
of cilantro leaves, without the stems, about .4 oz.
large baking potatoes, about 10-12 oz each
of a light non flavored olive oil [divided] + a little extra
Panko bread crumbs
salt to taste
Soak the first 2 ingredients in some warm water for about 15 minutes.
Wash the cilantro leaves and set aside.
Mean while scrub the potatoes clean, leaving the skin on. Choose uniformly ovoid ones if possible.
Place each potatoes horizontally between two wooden spoons or skewers or 1/2 " cutting boards. This is to prevent the potatoes from being sliced all the way through. Make uniform 1/4 inch vertical slices through each potato.
This is an optional step. Place the potatoes in a pan with water just enough to cover them. Gently separate the vertical slices with your fingers. This enables the potatoes to fan out while baking. Remove potatoes from water, drain and wipe them dry.
Make a paste out of the mustard, garlic, cilantro leaves and two tablespoons of the oil and salt to taste. [I added 1/2 tsp] You should get about 1/4 cup of mustard paste. Divide the paste between the potatoes, rub in between each slice thoroughly.
Spread the rest all over the potatoes. Use 1/ 2 tablespoon of oil on each potato from the remaining oil to brush the tops and sides for a crispy finish.
In a preheated 425 oven, place the potatoes in the middle rack and bake for about 50 minutes, though times may vary. Check if it is done by piercing a skewer through the potato.
When the inside is cooked you can baste with a little extra oil. Add a pinch of salt to the Panko crumbs and sprinkle on the potatoes and put them under a broiler on high till the crumbs brown.
Remove from oven, squeeze some lemon and serve or serve with a wedge of lemon