I could never, ever do the Atkins Diet. Putting anything on my food Index would just mean that after about a week or so, I would be willing to crawl naked across gravel in a hailstorm to find supplies, before stuffing the contraband in my mouth with both hands.
I think that’s the key to a healthy diet. Well, where carbs are concerned anyway. If I stop eating them, not only am I in danger of the scenario above, but I am a mere shadow of myself, listless, sleepy and HUNGRY.
Which brings me to potatoes. Ah, potatoes. Current nutritional thinking has persuaded me that the late 90s idea of dieting (hello Nigella in How to Eat) by eating a vast baked potato and cottage cheese is ludicrous…it couldn’t be less effective at filling me up, as I am hungry again 2 hrs later. But potatoes as a side dish, eaten in moderation? Bring it on.
This is an South Asian inspired dish which I knocked together for a school reunion lunch party lil’sis & I held a few weeks ago, where we served a total of four dishes. The photographs show a quantity for five people (including one very hungry man).
So: take your potatoes:
Put on a pan of salted water & bring to the boil. Meanwhile, peel & chop the potatoes into chunks.
When they are almost but not quite cooked through, remove from heat, drain, and chop into bite size pieces.
Chop off the bottoms and an inch off the tops of your onions and then cut into 1/2″/1 cm pieces.
Heat a dessertspoon of vegetable oil, chuck in the onions and cook for five minutes or until they are soft but not floppy.
Remove the onions from the pan, add 2 tablespoons more oil and heat. Throw in the potatoes, plus a generous teaspoon each of turmeric & cumin, plus 1/2 tsp of chili powder and a generous amount of sea salt & ground black pepper. Stir around once.
Resist the temptation to keep prodding as they fry. You want the potatoes to get nice & crispy on the bottom before turning them. (A fish slice would be better than a wooden spoon for turning, but my sister shouts at me when I use one in her non-stick pans.)
When you think the potatoes are looking pretty much done, tip in the onions & stir together.
Cook some more. You want lots of crispy bits. Check your seasoning. You’ll probably need more salt.
Spring onions (UK), scallions (US)
Neutral cooking oil
Turmeric, chili powder & cumin, plus a generous amount of sea salt & ground black pepper