Today I am writing a simple blog with a simple recipe that makes for a simply delicious side dish. One of my favorite aspects of Encyclopedia of Jewish Food is learning about the exotic places that Jews have called home. This week’s recipe comes from India and more specifically from the Jews of Calcutta. Aloo Makalla are whole potatoes that are slowly simmered in oil, resulting in a potato with a crispy exterior and creamy smooth interior. Coincidentally, I have been making potatoes very similarly to this for some time, and my recipe is virtually identical to the recipe in the book.
The basic idea behind the recipe is to blanch potatoes in water to get them slightly tender. Then, continue cooking the potatoes in oil to crisp the outside and finish cooking the inside. I first learned this process in culinary school when I was a student in the Italian restaurant on campus. One of the dishes that I was responsible for preparing each night was Tuscan potatoes. The basic recipe was to peel and dice potatoes, blanch them in water and then fry them with a blend of Tuscan herbs and garlic. The exterior is similar to a French fry and the interior is fluffy and moist like a proper baked potato.
Aloo Makalla is on this week’s menu at my pop-up restaurant, Fress, at the Wine Expo in Santa Monica on Thursday night. If you are feeling a bit crispy and want to fluff up your life with some deliciousness, I highly recommend coming to enjoy these yummy potatoes at Fress. Hope to feed you soon!
2lbs Small Boiling Potatoes
3C Vegetable Oil
4 sprigs Rosemary
6 cloves Garlic
To taste Kosher Salt
To Taste Black Pepper, Ground
1. Place the potatoes in a medium size pot and cover with water. Add a generous amount of Kosher salt until the water tastes of the sea.
2. Bring to a boil and let cook for 30 seconds. Drain the potatoes and let cool.
3. Place the cooked potatoes in a medium sized pot and cover with vegetable oil. Bring to a simmer. After about 10 minutes of simmering, add the rosemary and garlic to the oil.
4. After another 5 minutes of cooking or until the potatoes are golden brown, remove the potatoes, rosemary and garlic and let drain on a paper towel. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.