On the podcast interview this morning, they asked me what was a good starting dish in Vegan Serendib — I said if you like spicy, you could start with deviled potatoes, which was one of the dishes I learned in college, as a very novice cook. It’s incredibly easy, but also incredibly yummy. I still find it addictive now, thirty years later, and Kevin loves it too.
And yes, it uses ketchup, because that’s what Amma used. If that offends you, you can take chopped tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and salt, and cook those down until they’ve turned to ketchup, and then use that.
This was the first vegetable dish I learned to make, and I still find it addictive. It’s great with rice and another curry, but also works quite well mashed up as a party spread with triangles of toasted naan or pita. For a little more protein, you could add canned and drained chickpeas when you add the potatoes.
3 medium onions, chopped
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
¼ tsp. black mustard seed
¼ tsp. cumin seed
1-2 Tbsp. (or more to taste) cayenne
3 medium russet potatoes, cubed
3 Tbsp. ketchup
1 rounded tsp. salt
½ cup coconut milk, optional
1. Sauté onions in oil on high with mustard seed and cumin seeds until onions are golden / translucent (not brown). Add cayenne and cook 1 minute. Immediately add potatoes, ketchup, and salt.
2. Lower heat to medium and add enough water so the potatoes don’t burn (enough to cover usually works well). Cover and cook, stirring periodically, until potatoes are cooked through, about 20 minutes.
3. Remove lid and simmer off any excess water; the resulting curry sauce should be fairly thick, so that the potatoes are coated with sauce, rather than swimming in liquid. Add coconut milk, if desired, to thicken sauce and mellow spice level; stir until well blended. Serve hot.