Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Indian Tartiflette

So this week I thought it's about time I paid homage to my Indian roots. My mum for one was slightly offended Indian food has yet to feature in any of my posts! It's not that I don't love Indian food, I do. But it's just that most of the time I do eat anything Indian, it's something I've had a million times before. Indian food ceases to surprise me. (Having said that, it's probably partly down to the fact that I hardly ever eat Indian food out.) Indian food is something I eat at home, and have done for my entire 21 years! Furthermore it's something my Mum, Aunts and Grandmas do so expertly, why would I try to mess with that?!

When I cook, I prefer to cook something experimental. Often something I've never cooked before trying to replicate something I've seen, tried, heard about. Hence my first Indian food post is actually an Indian twist on a French classic, tartiflette




Tartiflette are basically cute, little potato and cheese nests: crispy, chewy and the perfect moreish snack. Traditionally they are made from potatoes, lardons (pieces of smoky, fatty pork) and  Reblochon cheese. I was tempted the moment I heard about these! To make something so obviously French, (I mean it contains super stinky cheese, makes no apology for the butter necessary to bind it all together and is full of lardons. Carb central!) Indian, well, all I had to do was add the most obvious Indian ingredient: spice!


Here's how they're made...

450g potatoes (about 4/5 average sized potatoes), shredded/grated
1 white onion, chopped finely
1 garlic clove, minced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced/grated
1 green chilli, chopped finely
100g or so of cheddar cheese, cubed
a handful of coriander, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2/3 curry leaves
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 a lemon

Start by draining the water out of the potatoes. Put all the shredded potato in a tea cloth and squeeze out as much moisture as you can. Add a little salt to the potatoes to help draw out the moisture.
Next, put the oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the cumin, mustard seeds and curry leaves, let the spices infuse the oil until the seeds start popping. At this point, add the onions and cook gently, so that they soften not brown. After about 5 minutes, add the garlic, ginger and chilli. (Adjust the amount of chilli you put in according to your taste and the heat of the chilli. If you don't like hot spice, take out the seeds as they are what gives the chilli its real heat.)
This is a good point to season the mixture with salt to taste, I would say at least 1/2 tsp is necessary. Once the garlic, ginger and chilli have cooked for 2 minutes, switch off the heat. Mix in the potato, cheese and coriander. The amount of cheese you add is your prerogative, I know French recipes would call for at least about 250g!



Spoon into the greased muffin tins (grease with oil or butter, grease really well to ensure your tartiflette come out with ease post baking). Bake at 180 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly. 

To serve, I suggest tamarind or mint and coriander chutney. Believe it or not these taste exceptionally good with a healthy dollop of tomato ketchup! And there you have it, Indian tartiflette.




Until next time...



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