Spiced Potato Cakes

December 12, 2013

Author Notes: I've always made my leftover mashed potatoes into potato cakes. Theyr'e just the best, crispy on the outside, pillowy on the inside, and you can add whatever flavors make your heart sing. To these I decided to add a boatload of cumin, coriander, and turmeric, making them remind me somewhat of the filling of a samosa. (If you have whole spices, you can toast those and grind them for extra flavor. I was out, and feeling lazy, so I used ground spices.) They're delicious with a fried egg or an herbed yogurt sauce like a raita or chutney. You can serve them for breakfast, and if you add a nice salad they can be dinner.
This recipe is for if you're starting from just potatoes. If you're starting with already made mashed potatoes, I like to use 1 egg per 1 cup of mashed potatoes to make a sort of potato batter.

Serves: 4 to 6


  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, left whole and unpeeled (so they don't get waterlogged while cooking)
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, smashed to a paste
  • 2 teaspoons (heaping) ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 teaspoon hot paprika (use less if you're spicy breakfast averse)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon butter, plus lots more for frying
  • Plain yogurt mixed with your choice of herbs plus lemon juice for serving, or fried eggs, or chutney, or any other sauce you want
In This Recipe


  1. Put your potatoes in a large pot and add just enough water to cover. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and simmer until the potatoes are tender enough to be easily pierced through with a blunt knife or a fork (how long this takes depends very much on the size of your potatoes).
  2. Drain the potatoes and allow them to cool enough to handle. Then, peel off the skins and put the potatoes in a large mixing bowl.
  3. While the potatoes are cooling, melt one Tbs. butter in a large frying pan until foamy. Add the cumin, turmeric, coriander, and spicy paprika. Cook for one minute, until fragrant, then remove from the heat.
  4. Add the garlic, the spice mixture, and the salt to the potatoes and smash them up until no lumps remain. Then, stir in the eggs until well blended. You should have what looks and feels like a rather thick batter.
  5. In the same large frying pan you used to toast the spices heat a couple tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat until very hot and foaming. Drop the potato batter by large spoonfuls into the pan. Cook on the first side until well browned, about 3 minutes, then flip and cook until the other sides are well browned, another couple minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter, adding butter to the pan as needed.
  6. Serve the potato cakes warm with your choice of topping - yogurt sauce (like raita or tzatziki), fried eggs, chutney...

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