I love street food. That won’t come as any surprise to those who read this blog regularly. I love the casual dining concept and buying samples of inexpensive food that is usually bursting with flavour. So my friends who know me well, took me to Pop Brixton and I was in heaven. Both times I had to have Baba G’s Masala Fries.
So as per usual, I’m greedy and couldn’t wait to try to replicate this recipe at home. That’s how bloody delicious these are. I don’t usually get excited by chips or fries, in fact I rarely make them but I made an exception for this recipe of Masala Fries with Mango, Salsa and Raita. As the title suggests, they are served with a freshly ground spice mix, mango puree, a simple raita and a little tomato salsa. Not strictly Indian but I’ve never claimed that my recipes are authentic. I know what you’re thinking, “Mango? Really?!”. Trust me, it’s so good with them.
This is probably the first savoury recipe I’ve posted that doesn’t feature bacon, cheese or garlic!
Useful tips & links:
- I trawled through my cookbooks including Rick Stein’s India and Dhruv Baker’s Spice:Layers of Flavour looking for a suitable recipe for the masala but didn’t find one that had what I needed so I came up with the one below. (Masala literally means a mixture of spices). Alternatively buy some garam masala and add chilli powder but really the flavour of freshly ground spices cannot be beaten.
- I have used Kashmiri chilli powder in this which is milder than regular chilli powder and has a beautiful vibrant red colour. If you don’t have it use half regular chilli powder and half sweet paprika.
- I use a cheap coffee grinder to grind spices. If you don’t have one you can use a pestle and mortar to do this however you won’t get as fine a powder.
- I’ve done a very basic raita here but feel free to go with any recipe you like for it.
- Make ahead: the spice mix keeps in an airtight container in a dark place for a couple of months so it can be made well ahead. The chips are twice cooked, so this means you can make them up to the first fry and keep in the fridge until you are ready to fry for the second time.
- I was reminded to post this last week after seeing Taryn’s Bombay Potato Snacks, which look fantastic!
- These are great on their own but would be an ideal side dish for a spiced lamb burger or this Indian Roast Chicken.
Masala Fries with Mango, Salsa and Raita
- 4 x medium Rooster or Maris Piper Potatoes
- Sunflower or vegetable oil for deep frying
- Masala spice mix, see below
- 2 tomatoes
- ½ a banana shallot
- The juice of 1 lime
- Fresh coriander
- ½ a fresh ripe mango
- 100ml of Greek or natural yogurt
- The leaves of 1 sprig of mint
- Salt and Pepper
For the Masala spice mix:
- 2 tablespoons of cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons of coriander seeds
- The seeds from 8-10 cardamom pods
- 2 teaspoons of black peppercorns
- 1½ tablespoons of Kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
- First make the spice mix. Heat a dry small non stick frying pan over a medium heat and gently fry the cumin, coriander, cardamom and black peppercorns until you can smell the spices toasting. Tip the toasted seeds into a spice grinder and grind until they are a fine powder. Put them into a jar or airtight container with the Kashmiri chilli powder and turmeric and mix well together. Store in a cool dark spot until you want to use it.
- Peel your potatoes and cut them into fries or chips about 1cm thick. Soak the cut potatoes in water for about 30 minutes to get rid of the excess starch.
- Heat your oil in a suitable saucepan or deep fryer to 130c. Thoroughly dry the potatoes, you don’t want water going into the hot oil, and cook the fries in batches for 8-10 minutes. You want the fried to be cooked but not take on any colour yet.
- Drain the fries on kitchen paper and store in the fridge until you are ready for the second fry. Continue with the rest of the fries until they have all been cooked.
- When you are ready for the second stage of frying, heat the oil in the pan to 180c. Again in batches, gently lower the par-cooked fries into the hot oil and fry for 4-5 minutes until they are crispy and golden brown on the outside. Drain well in kitchen paper and sprinkle over your masala spice mix. Start cautiously and taste as you go to see how much spice you want.
- While the fries are cooking, make the mango, the salsa and the raita. For the mango, simple put the ripe fruit in a blender or mini food processor and blend until it is a smooth puree.
- For the salsa, de-seed the tomatoes and finely dice them. Finely dice the shallot and add them to the tomatoes. Pour over half of the lime juice, add a pinch of salt, some freshly chopped coriander and add about ¼ teaspoon of the masala spice and mix it all well together. Taste the salsa for seasoning and set it aside to allow the flavours infuse.
- For the raita, finely chop the mint leaves and add them to the yogurt with the rest of the lime juice and a little salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning and increase the mint if you would like a stringer flavour.
- Serve the crispy cooked fries immediately. Top with the salsa, mango and yogurt and serve more on the side for people to dip into as needed.