Tuesday, November 18, 2008

November 12, 2008: Spiced new potatoes, curried green beans & yellow rice

Another month, another recipe. For November, the World in Your Kitchen Calendar offered up spiced new potatoes from Sri Lanka. This was clearly intended as a side dish, so I did a bit of poking around the web to try to find some Sri Lankan themed goodies that could accompany the spuds. Thankfully, this website: http://asiarecipe.com/sriveg.html came through with the goods - dozens of vegetarian Sri Lankan options. I decided to go nuts and turn out three dishes: the spuds, some curried green beans and yellow rice.

Everything involved was relatively simple - even with three burners on the go this didn't take me much more than half an hour, with most of the background jobs finished by the time the spuds had boiled. The potatoes were fantastic - tangy, spicy and tender. Cindy even suggested they could replace her standard potato accompaniment. The rice was equally impressive, creamy and flavoursome, almost sweet enough for a dessert. It's probably not a healthy idea to soak rice in coconut milk, but it sure is a taste sensation. The problem was the beans. I'd popped in a couple of teaspoons of curry powder that we'd been given as part of a fancy Oxfam present, thinking it would be relatively mild. Turns out it was anything but - the beans packed a firey, firey, whallop. Too much for us to enjoy unfortunately, so the beans got shunted to one side of our plates to be frozen and rejigged into something more manageable later on.

So dinner ended up being rice and potatoes - a little colourless and dull, but rich, warm and flavourful nonetheless.

Spiced new potatoes

500g small potatoes
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1-2 tablespoons chopped coriander
juice of 1 lemon

Boil the potatoes for about 15 minutes, until they're well cooked. Drain and peel.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they pop, throw in the potatoes and cook for five minutes.

Throw in the rest of the spices, salt and coriander and cook for another 10 minutes or so. Stir the lemon juice through just before serving.

Curried green beans

500g green beans, trimmed
3 tablespoons oil
2-3 teaspoons of curry powder (make sure the curry powder is not ridiculously spicy)
1 tablespoon mustard
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed

Fry the beans in the oil for about five minutes. Add all the other ingredients, stir everything together and cook for another five minutes or so. And you're done.

Yellow rice

3 cups rice
4 tablespoons butter
2 onions, sliced
10 cloves
20 black peppercorns
12 bruised cardamom pods
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
3 teaspoons salt
5 cups coconut milk

Heat the butter in a saucepan, fry the onions until browned.

Add the cloves, peppercorns, cardamom pods, salt and turmeric.

Add the rice and fry, stirring constantly until it's well coated.

Add the coconut, bring to the boil and then cover and leave on low heat cooking until the rice is done (maybe 25 minutes). The spices should come to the top while the rice is cooking, meaning you can scoop most (but not all) of the cloves and cardamom pods out before serving it all up.


  1. Sounds damn nice to me! I was wondering what to do with some spuds in the cupboard. I'd originally considered mashing them up and throwing some vegies in and turning it into bubble n squeak, but your spiced potatoes sounds way better.

  2. Thanks, Maffy! The potatoes are really lemony - my favourite. :-)