Why have plain old boring potato fries when you can stir-fry them with spices and your favourite Chinese sauces? These Chilli Garlic Potatoes are inspired by the humble potato fries and Chinese flavours. They are healthier, highly addictive and intensely delicious.
The origin and lure of Indo Chinese Cooking
When I shared this Indo-Chinese Paneer Fried Rice a couple of months ago, I got so many messages to share more recipes from this relatively small and rare cuisine. Indo-Chinese cooking originated in Eastern India, a result of the adaptation of Chinese cooking techniques and seasoning to Indian tastes by the ethnic Chinese community settled in Kolkata. Most of these Chinese migrants were of Hakka origin, hailing from the Hakka speaking provinces in China.
The cuisine which is extremely delicious and has a wide variety of vegetarian dishes (to satisfy the veg loving Indians) is therefore an ode to the diaspora of the Hakka community and is characterized by a beautiful fusion of soy sauce, vinegars, ginger, garlic and traditional Indian spices like coriander, cumin and chilli.
The story behind the Chilli Garlic Potatoes
Today, I would like to share another recipe inspired by these flavours. I first had something similar when I was only 18. I was living in Mumbai and had just met Nick (25 years and counting!). We were studying engineering and working part-time. The first shopping mal had just opened up in our city and we had taken an hour long train ride to eagerly visit this shopping mall. The food court was hip and happening as the kids liked to proclaim back then. Foregoing traditional Indian fare, the food court had an array of delicious fusion stalls and the Indo-Chinese stall was the most popular. I ordered a dish called Chilli Potatoes and besides the fact that the potatoes were cubed and deep fried, today’s Chilli Garlic Potatoes are exactly the same as the ones I had then.
I make a lot of Air-Fried Potato Fries/Wedges for the boys. Before I got an Air-Fryer, I would just roast them in the oven the old-fashioned way. Once they are air-fried/roasted and crispy and golden, I get really creative with them. I use them as a base for nachos, I make an Indian Chaat with them and I make a variety of delicious stir-fried meals with them.
Once the potatoes are roasted, the rest is even easier. As I always maintain while cooking a stir-fry, I follow the Wok Clock (place prepped ingredients in a clockwise fashion in the order in which they go into the wok) and make sure my sauces are mixed in a bowl and ready to go. In today’s recipe, I mix the soy sauce, vinegar, Sriracha and ketchup in a bowl to make things easier.
These potatoes are perfect on their own. All you need is a spoon to dig in. Try them and let me know what you think, they are sooooo good! Please also check the footnote in the recipe for a word on the chilli component and heat of this recipe. This recipe has a nice heat to it, not too much (my 12 year old can handle it), but if you prefer something less spicy, skip the chilli flakes.
A little surprise in our garden
And before I go, I wanted to share something incredible that happened on Sunday. It is something I have always dreamed would happen ever since we started raising chickens almost 10 years ago, but it never did. Our Blue Australorp Miso had been hopping the fence from the chook run into our main garden with the veggie patches. No matter what we did (made the fence higher with lattice panels and wires), she would somehow still manage to hop onto this side of the garden. What was even strange was that she always did it in the morning and once we found her and put her back in the chook run, she was happy to stay there.
When this happened on Sunday morning, our 12 year old (the curious one in the family) started following her around the yard and found that she disappeared into the bushes and settled in. He crawled in and tried to get her but she wouldn’t budge. Eventually he got bored and walked away. That is when she decided to pop out of the bushes. So he caught her and put her back in the chook run. And then his curiosity got the better of him and he still crawled in the bushes to see where she was sitting and lo and behold – he found a little stash of 11 eggs that she had laid over the past two weeks. It was the most excitement we had during our quarantine and it certainly made our Sunday sunnier.
Until next time, hope life’s curiosities find you and brighten your day too! x
A highly addictive snack dish inspired by Indo-Chinese flavours and the humble potato fries! This healthier version involves air-frying or roasting the potato fries and then stir-frying them with spices. Yummy!
For the potatoes
- 4 large potatoes (700-800g)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons cornflour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (7–8 large cloves)
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- ½ teaspoon red chilli flakes
- 1 small brown onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha or Chilli Sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
- 1 teaspoon cornflour mixed in ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup finely chopped spring onion (green only)
- White and black sesame seeds
- Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut them into ½ inch thick batons. Place them in a large bowl along with the oil. Mix well. Add the cornflour, salt and pepper. Toss gently to coat thoroughly.
- To Cook The Potatoes – In an Airfryer, cook them at 200C for 18 minutes OR In a pre-heated oven, cook them at 200C for approximately 28-30 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- In a medium wok, heat 1 tablespoon of oil on high. Add garlic, ginger, chilli flakes and onion. Stir-fry while tossing rapidly for a minute until the onion starts turning translucent. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking for another minute. Add potatoes and mix well. Cook for a few seconds.
- Add soy sauce, vinegar, Sriracha and tomato ketchup. Mix well until potatoes are coated. Reduce heat to low and add the cornflour mix. Mix well and cook for a minute until heated through.
- Remove from heat. Sprinkle with spring onion and sesame seeds. Serve hot.
This recipe has a lovely bite to it. If you prefer it to be less spicy, skip the red chilli flakes.