Xawaash Smashed Potatoes with Lemony Sour Cream and Peanut Dressing

November 15, 2022
1 Ratings
Photo by Armin Begić
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This potato dish got it all for me, as it embodies the ultimate a potato can be: crispy, fluffy and highly aromatic, at the same time. It uses one of my absolute favourite spices blends, xawaash, in two ways: for the smashed potatoes and peanut dressing, giving the dish a deep and warm flavour. The lemony sour cream brings tanginess, freshness and creaminess to the meal, confirming why sour cream and potatoes are a match made in heaven. The aromatic peanut dressing contributes crunch, umami flavour (thanks to the MSG), richness and heat. Fresh coriander adds with its leafy herbasceousness the finishing touch to everything. Those who like more sourness to their dish, are invited to give it a squeeze of lemon. Don’t worry, if you don’t have xawaash on hand, I got your back. If you're a spice lover, probably you already have all the ingredients in your pantry to quickly toss up a fresh batch of xawaash, while your potatoes are boiling (when you don’t have whole spices, you can easily replace them with ground ones). You can find my recipe for xawaash on Food52 (https://food52.com/recipes...). —Armin Begić

What You'll Need
  • Xawaash Smashed Potatoes
  • 2 1/2 pounds (1,1 kg) starchy potatoes
  • 8 cups water
  • 6 tablespoons salt
  • 10 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons xawaash
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • Lemony Sour Cream & Peanut Dressing
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 60 grams unsalted blanched split peanuts
  • 2 teaspoons xawaash
  • 2 teaspoons Aleppo chili flakes (pul biber)
  • 1 teaspoon raw cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon MSG
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • juice of half a lemon
  • finely grated zest of one lemon
  • coriander leaves (for garnish)
  • lemon wedges (for serving)
  1. Preheat the oven to 410°F (210°C).
  2. Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with 8 cups of water. Add 6 tablespoons salt and bring to a boil. Once the water has reached a boil, reduce the heat to medium and cook the potatoes until they are just cooked through and easily pierced with a fork (the total boiling time is about 15-25 minutes, depending on the sort and size of your potatoes; be careful not to overcook; they would disintegrate when smashed and become soggy).
  3. Drain and transfer the potatoes back to the warm pot and let them rest for 5 minutes to dry out excess moisture.
  4. Meanwhile, add the olive oil, xawaash, and garlic powder to a small bowl and whisk to combine well.
  5. Spread the potatoes evenly on a rimmed backing sheet, making sure they are not on touching each other. Smash down each potato using the back of a measuring cup or potato masher.
  6. Drizzle the seasoned olive oil over the potatoes, then toss to coat. Season lightly with salt and black pepper.
  7. Roast the potatoes 40 to 50 minutes, or until golden brown and the skin turns crispy.
  8. Meanwhile, prepare the lemony sour cream and peanut dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Set aside. Prepare the peanut dressing by combing the xawaash, Aleppo pepper, nigella seeds, sugar, salt and MSG in a small bowl. Heat the oil in a small sauce pan on medium to high temperature. Add the peanuts and roast for about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally until they are nicely browned (be careful to not burn them, as this would make them bitter). Remove from the stove and immediately add the spice mixture. Transfer mixture into a bowl and set aside.
  9. Spread the sour cream out on a large serving platter. Top with the potatoes and spoon over the peanut dressing. Garnish with coriander leaves and place lemon wedges on the sides of the platter. Serve warm.

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