Whilst the origins of this dish are Sri Lankan and is wonderful as part of a curry meal – these potatoes are equally as good as a side dish with a BBQ.
One of the benefits of using coconut oil is that it has a high smoke point and gives a unique subtle flavour to the dish. If you don’t have coconut oil then you could use rice bran or grapeseed oil. There is a lot of varying opinions on coconut oil – however the good seems to far be outweighing the bad. There is plenty of information on the internet if you are interested in doing your own research. It is my oil of choice when cooking curries and I’m using it more and more for other dishes as well.
Anyway, to my potatoes. You can omit the Maldive fish chips if you don’t have them, but I really love the seasoning they impart. Just like the Italians use of anchovies in cooking, the taste of the Maldive fish chips become unrecognisable, other than to lift the dish and pack a unique flavour punch.
In regard to the cooking times, you will need to cook by ‘eye’, as I use my clay chatties and they are like a speed cooking utensil – cooking and browning the onions in no time at all. I’ve put detailed instructions so you can adapt to whatever you cook in.
1 tblspn extra virgin coconut oil
250g onions, sliced
1 sprig of curry leaves
2 pieces of pandan leaves (optional)
half stick of cinnamon
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
pinch of dried turmeric
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp Maldive fish chips
1. Peel the potatoes and boil them until tender. While hot cut into 2cm cubes.
2. Add the coconut oil to a saucepan (or clay chattie). Add onion slices and fry until the onions are golden brown. If in a chattie, stir almost constantly, so the onions don’t burn.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients (except potatoes) and temper (fry) stirring constantly for one minute so that the ingredients are fragrant.
4. Add the potatoes and stir through the onion mix for a few minutes, until the potatoes are nicely coated in all the flavours.
5. Remove from heat and pop the lid on the pan for a couple of minutes to fully allow flavours to steam through.
Serves 4 as a side dish or part of a banquet.