South Indian Potato Fry

South Indian Potato Fry


  • 2 lb potatoes, scrubbed
  • 2 onions, cut into small dices
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 curry leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 large heirloom tomato cut into small cubes (with seeds and skin)
  • 11 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic-ginger paste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala


Put the potatoes in a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Let the potatoes boil until fork-tender but not too tender that they fall apart. You want a nice structured potato. Drain the potatoes and place under cold running water for a few moments. Once the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them into cubes.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seed and let cook 2 minutes. Add the cumin seeds and curry leaves, if using, and sauté 1 minute. Add the onion and sauté while stirring for a minute. Add the turmeric, sauté, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Cover and cook, stirring often, until the onion is golden and caramelized, 7-8 minutes.

Add the potato cubes to the skillet. Mix thoroughly until the potatoes are coated with the spice and onion mixture. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add the tomatoes and 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, stir well, and continue cooking, covered, for an additional 5-6 minutes. Add the chili pepper, the garlic-ginger paste, and the garam masala, and stir well. Continue cooking until the potatoes are nice and tender, about 2-3 minutes. Remove to a serving bowl. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Bon appétit!

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