Crispy, Crunchy, Crackly
Not your mother’s boiled potatoes, this fine little recipe takes a bit of time but is dead simple, and you may never crave fries again. Boil some potatoes. Then slather with some spiced oil and cool briefly. Smash before transforming them, by a blast of a hot oven. They transforms into gloriously golden brown, crackly on the outside delights, and they are light and fluffy on the inside. Satisfying masala roasted smashed potatoes, all without deep-frying!
Instead of nachos, use roasted smashed potatoes as your foundation and pile on your favorite nachos toppings. Try salsa, sour cream, grated cheese, and chopped scallions, plus other favorites (bacon!). You get the idea. Or swing to the Indian street food chaat route and top with chopped tomatoes, chopped red onion, and a drizzle of cilantro or tamarind chutney. Maybe both! Lastly, a big shower of sev, the irresistible chickpea flour crunchy snack.
Are you having a cocktail party? Boil some adorable, tiny potatoes and—following this recipe—serve with the simple yogurt sauce recipe below. Perfect for party cooking too because you can boil the potatoes the day before. Then all you need on party day is coat them with the flavorful oil, smash, and roast. Serve with any of my garnishing ideas below.
See the Notes below before you cook.
Roasted Smashed Potatoes
- 1 1/2 pounds small potatoes ~ 1 1/2 to 2-inches (12 to 14)
- 1/4 cup olive oil ~ Or oil of your choice
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri ground red chili ~ To taste, substitutions
- 3/4 teaspoon sea or table salt ~ More to taste, substitutions
- 1 teaspoon chaat masala ~ Buy or make (and brand suggestions), optional
- 1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice ~ Or lime
- 2 tablespoons chutney ~ Your favorite, e.g. cilantro, mint, or tamarind
- 2 tablespoon yogurt ~ Or mayo mixed with some chutney, lime, S&P
- 1/8 teaspoon flakey salt ~ Like Maldon
- 1 cup plain full-fat yogurt
- 1 teaspoon lime juice ~ Or lemon, to taste
- 2 tablespoons scallion tops ~ Roughly chopped
- salt and pepper ~ To taste
- 1/3 cup cucumber ~ Minced, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin ~ Optional
Make the Potatoes
- Gather the ingredients for the potatoes and preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C). If roasting on a convection setting, preheat to 425°F (220°C).
- In a large saucepan, place the potatoes and cover at least 1-inch with cold water. Starting on high, bring the water to a boil, then lower to medium and simmer until the potatoes are soft but not mushy. This will take 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the size of your potatoes.
- Meanwhile, in a bowl large enough to comfortably hold the potatoes, add the oil, spices, and salt. Drain the potatoes, lay on a kitchen towel, and pat dry. Gently stir into the flavored oil to coat well.
- Place the potatoes to a rimmed baking sheet and space evenly. Allow the potatoes to cool for 10 minutes, or until you can handle them.
- Using your hands or a utensil (see Notes below), smash the potatoes to a 1/3 to 1/4-inch thickness, without smashing them to pieces (they will still be good in pieces though!). You may find it helpful to make a lengthwise cut across the top of the potato to make them smash more neatly.
- Place the baking tray in the oven and roast the smashed potatoes for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a deep golden brown with crispy edges.
- Serve the potatoes hot with any garnish, chutney or dip that makes you happy!
To Make the Simple Raita
- Gather your raita ingredients.
- Mix everything together and chill or serve at room temperature.
Chaat (Indian Street Salad) Idea
- Make up your own chaat recipe and load the smashed potatoes with salad ingredients of your choice. Here are some ideas: chopped tomatoes, drizzles of tamarind chutney, green chutney, yogurt, sev, cilantro leaves, coarse salt, raw or pickled onions, shredded cheese, and a final sprinkle of chaat masala.
- I prefer potatoes on the 1 1/2-inch (4 cm) side, but if you can’t find small potatoes, you could cut a larger potato into bit-sized cubes, coat with spiced oil and shallow fry in a large pan on top of the stove. Or bake as described, but the cubes won’t take as long to cook as the larger smashed potatoes. Turn the over at about 8 minutes, then roast for another 6 to 10 minutes, depending on your oven.
- To smash the potatoes use a glass, potato masher, a folded kitchen towel, a fork, or even your hands.
- When roasting the potatoes, I have found they brown and get crispier if NOT using parchment paper.