Urulaikizhangu Roast - Potato Roast
The market is flooded with a great variety of colourful vegetables. But one never returns without the brown round insipid looking tuber in the shopping bag every time one goes to the green grocer. The same tuber when combined with our favourite spices turns out to be a fire brand elevating our spirits to the highest heavens. Potatoes! The darling vegetable of every connoisseur! Urulaikizhangu (potato) roast tops the list of a menu plan for any special occasion.
Urulaikizhangu roast is simple and easy to prepare, yet it is a delicacy which steals the hearts of young and old alike. Roast prepared with baby potatoes is a star attraction in dinner parties. My grand children like to finish off their meal with only a bowl of potato roast.
Since my potatoes were slightly bigger than the usual baby potatoes, I have halved them before spicing them up.
Baby potatoes – 1kg
Salt – 3/4 tbsp
Sambar powder (this one!) – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Split black gram dal (urad dal) – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Curry leaves – a few
Cooking oil – 4 tbsp
1. Wash the baby potatoes well. Take some water in a pressure cooker. Take the potatoes in a separate vessel, and place the vessel in the pressure cooker, over the water. Avoid adding water directly along with the potatoes. Cook for one whistle on High Flame, and one on Medium Flame, and then switch off the cooker.
2. Thoroughly cool and then peel the potatoes, one by one, taking care not to mash them up.
3. Leave it in the fridge for half an hour until they cool down and become a bit firm.
4. Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan and add mustard seeds.
5. When it splutters add the black gram dal.
6. When the dal turns golden in colour, reduce the flame.
7. Add curry leaves, turmeric powder, sambar powder and the salt.
8. Now drop in the cold potatoes and gently turn them around with a spatula, until they are entirely coated with the oil and spices.
9. Increase flame and stir for a few more minutes.
10. Now again decrease flame and let the potatoes get roasted slowly.
11. Roast until they acquire the desired crispness (about 40 minutes). Stir now and then for even roasting and to prevent the potatoes from getting burnt.
Relish the urulaikizhangu roast while still hot and sizzling. Crispy spicy crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside - it is sure to take you to soaring heights!
Variation: These can be made with regular potatoes as well, by chopping them into small pieces. They need not even be pressure cooked, and you can simply begin with Step 4. This takes longer to get cooked and roasted, but tastes wonderful.
Note from Dibs: Almost every cuisine has some form of roasted potato or the other, and I have tasted many of them! An aloo bhajja, a hash brown, or the urulaikizhangu roast, are all distinctly different – not just because of the spices – but the manner in which they are cooked!
There are potato roasts, and then there are the ultimate potato roasts! I have made this recipe several times, and while every time the results are good, it takes patience with cooking on a low flame, and practice with making sure all parts of the potato get sufficient time to sit at the bottom of the vessel, to get that absolutely ultimate - perfect even golden roast - wonderfully crispy outside, soft and well cooked inside!
And then …if I’m feeling very lazy, I just pop the potatos in the oven at step 10. This tastes great as well – but then it is not just quite the same!