Vibrant Potato Curry
Good potato curry is always comforting and welcome. In the South-Western state of Kerala, potato curry is often eaten for breakfast with a favorite flatbread. This aloo masala is an easy and enticing sauté of potatoes and a few flavorings. Start things off with nuttiness of popped mustard seeds, a must when cooking the food of Kerala. Add garlic and/or ginger for flavor, chili powder adds a little or a lot of heat, to your taste. And finally, a spritz of lemon brightens everything up.
Aloo Masala Kerala Style
Potato curry makes a great mildly spiced side to Indian meat or vegetable stews, flatbread, dosa or idli. And it also goes perfectly with a roast chicken, a steak, or even a simple fish dish. Ticking off all the important dietary boxes, this curry is quick and easy, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and delicious!
See the Notes below before you cook.
Aloo Masala (Kerala-Style)
- 1 pound potatoes ~ Peeled and cut into bite-size or small potatoes unpeeled
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil ~ Divided, or oil of your choice
- 1 teaspoon brown or black mustard seeds ~ Yellow will also work
- 10 curry leaves ~ Or one sprig, optional
- 1 cup onions ~ Finely chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon sea or table salt ~ Divided; 1/2 the amount Kosher salt, substitutions
- 1 tablespoons garlic ~ Puréed or finely chopped; or 1 1/2 tablespoon ginger garlic paste. See the Note below.
- 3/4 teaspoon Kashmiri ground red chili ~ Or 1/2 amount cayenne or to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 cup water ~ More as needed
- 2 teaspoon lemon or lime juice ~ To taste
- Gather all your ingredients.
- In a large frying pan (non-stick is good) over medium-high heat add 1 tablespoon coconut oil and the potatoes. You are browning the potatoes, not necessarily cooking them through. Do not move them for 3 to 5 minutes to let them brown. Turn over and brown on the other side for another 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the pan and set aside.
- Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan. Over medium-high heat the oil and test with a couple of mustard seeds. If they start to sputter right away, the oil is hot enough. Add the rest of the mustard seeds and sputter for 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook until the onions are a golden-brown; about 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the curry leaves and garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the chili and turmeric powders. Start with a lesser amount of chili powder. You can always add more to your taste. Stir for several minutes to cook the spices.
- If your frying pan has a lid add 1/2 cup water, the potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon of salt or to your taste, and lemon juice. If you need to switch to a lidded dutch oven or sauté pan, do that now. Cover and cook the potatoes and masala mixture over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft but not mushy. Add water as needed. Taste for salt, heat, and acid.
- Flavoring ideas for aloo masala Kerala style: add some minced green chilies to your taste. Play with the ginger are garlic. Either use 1 tablespoon garlic, 2 teaspoons of ginger OR 1 1/2 tablespoons of ginger garlic paste.