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.