Freshly ground spices and creamy golden potatoes come together in this firecracker of a South-Indian recipe for Chettinad Potato Fry!
Chettinad Potato Fry is a flavorful, spicy, and delicious recipe originating in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu! Creamy potatoes are cooked to perfection, then fried with oil and spices. This potato roast is perfect as a side to a sumptuous and elaborate South-Indian meal. Curd Rice, Sambar Rice, or Rasam Rice – whatever is your preferred choice – this potato fry goes well with all of them!
Chettinadu cuisine is usually characterized by freshly ground masala and a higher spice level. But you can certainly exercise caution while adding the masalas. I usually grind a small batch of the Chettinad spice mix and then use it over a couple of weeks for my stir-fries.
What is Chettinad Masala or Spice-Mix?
Originating in the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Chettinad is a small region predominantly occupied by chettiars. This region is famous for its popular chettinad masala, which is really just yet another spice mix like garam masala, but quintessential to this region. You can buy it from your local Indian grocery store (typically in the spice-mix section), or get it online. But I highly recommend making it yourself, at home. It takes less than 10 minutes & can last you a few months in the refrigerator!
So you will find a lot of different recipes for the spice mix, but it usually has dry coconut, cumin, coriander, dry red chili & dals! The important step here is to NOT SKIP on the dry roasting of the spices. This will bring out the aroma.
How to store the Chettinad Masala?
If your masala has coconut in it (some recipes don’t call for it), then store it in the refrigerator, in an air-tight container. This will stay fresh for at least a month or two. If your masala doesn’t have coconut in it, you can just store it at room temperature.
But because it is so quick to make, I usually make a very small batch and use it within a month.
When to use the Chettinad Masala?
The masala is usually added at the last stage of the stir-fry. Spices tend to burn if you fry them for too long, so it’s always advisable to cook your veggie to the texture you ALMOST want, then add the masala and stir-fry for a few minutes.
If you’re using it in gravy, then just add it along with other spices.
How to make the Chettinad Potato Fry –
- Wash & cook your potatoes until they’re firm but soft cooked
- Let them cool, then peel them
- Cube into 1 or 2-inch pieces
- Then stir fry with the typical South Indian tempering / tadka and stir-fry.
- When its almost done, add the chettinad masala & fry for a few more minutes
- Serve with roti or rice!
Here’s a video recipe on how to make the spiced roasted potatoes or chettinad potato fry –
Chettinad Potato Fry
- 1 TBsp Coriander seeds
- 1 TBsp Chana dal
- 1 inch Cinnamon stick
- 1 pc green Cardamom pod
- 1-2 pc Whole Cloves
- 1 tsp Fennel seeds
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1 tsp Black peppercorn
- 4-5 pieces Dry Red Chili adjust for spice
- 2 TBsp Desiccated coconut
- 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1 tsp Urad Dal
- 1 tsp Chana Dal
- 1 tsp Jeera or Cumin Seeds
- 2 pcs large Potatoes
- 1-2 tsp Salt (adjust to taste)
- 1-2 pcs dry Red chili
- 1/4 cup Curry leaves
- 1-2 Tbsp Chettinad Masala (adjust for spice)
- Dry roast the ingredients mentioned under “spice mix”. They’ll turn aromatic in a couple minutes
- Let them cool completely. Grind to smooth powder
- Store in air-tight jar in the fridge & use as required
- Boil or pressure cook the potatoes until they’re fork-soft, but still firm. Once it cools, peel & dice into 1-2 inch cubes
- Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, when that splutters, add cumin, urad & chana dal. Then add the dry red chili, curry leaves, diced potatoes. Mix well with the tadka
- Stir fry on medium heat for 7-8 minutes or until its almost as crisp as you like
- Then add the chettinad spice mix & fry for 2-3 minutes
- Optionally, garnish with some cilantro leaves. Serve hot with rice or roti
- While the ingredients mentioned in this recipe is my recipe, you can experiment with the number of ingredients to make a spice mix you prefer
- Keep the masala stored in an air-tight jar in the fridge & use it within a couple of months
- If making a stir-fry, add this just 2 minutes before the stir-fry is done. Add to the veggies, mix well & fry for a couple of minutes. Don’t add it too far in advance, or the spice mix will burn.
- But if you’re making gravy, you can use it like any other spice-mix
If you liked this recipe, check out some other delicious Indian recipes on this blog –