The weather here in Washington D.C. is cooling off pretty quickly though the days are sunny and bright. The leaves have changed their color and leaves are falling everywhere and my seasonal allergies are kicking in. One would think that the cooler weather would keep people in but here in D.C. we tend to celebrate fall and winter quite a bit! For one, most D.C. based food bloggers are probably thrilled and excited about the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show that is coming up in a few weeks. It features a line of celebrity chefs (from Bravo, the Cooking Channel, and the Food Network) and an amazing array of food related products and ingredients from various vendors. All in all, I hope to find some new fun ingredients and a little bit of inspiration from this event. There is also an upcoming Fall Fest event hosted by my friends which I anticipate will be a fun-filled food and drink celebration interspersed with quite a bit of chatter. Then there are a few costume-themed races in the upcoming weeks which I hope to see, including the Annual High Heel Race Event. Unfortunately, the hosts of the chili cook-off that I visited last year, have decided to skip this year and move it to 2013.But I think I should be good with all the various fun things to do in the next few weeks. With everything being so colorful and costume oriented at this time of the year, I think these spiced baby purple potatoes fit right in with the season.
The potatoes in this recipe are first seared till they are almost cooked tender. Then towards the end of the cooking, the potatoes are seasoned with garlic and mango to prevent them from burning while still flavoring the potatoes. Mangoes can pack heat! I remember my mother telling me to avoid eating one too many mangoes during summer because they can overheat the body. So we'd soak the ripe mangoes in cold water to cool them a little before eating (I am still not sure if this helps or its just a myth). Dried mango powder is obtained from raw green mangoes and it still carries a spicy hot edge with an acidic note. This makes mango powder an excellent source of heat for many dishes and you will find it used in several Indian recipes.
This light buttermilk sauce that accompanies the potatoes is refreshing. Who says hot and cold can't go together? Buttermilk and yogurt with a little bit of fresh lemon zest add a bit of a coolness to these hot and spicy purple potatoes. This entire dish is packed with delicious rich and bold flavors and not to mention some fun colors.
mango-spiced baby potatoes with buttermilk sauce
3 cups baby purple potatoes or fingerling potatoes
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon plain non-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
1 teaspoon dried mango powder (Amchur)
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder or dried chili flakes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped scallions (for garnish)
salt and pepper to season the buttermilk sauce
1. Wash the potatoes under cold water and wipe them dry with a clean towel. Slice each potato in half across its length.
2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on a medium flame. Add the potatoes and salt. Cover with a lid and cook for about 20 minutes till the potatoes are golden brown on the outside but soft and tender inside. Stir the potatoes occasionally during the cooking.
3. Reduce the flame and add the chili, garlic, pepper, and mango powder. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes.
4. Lightly whisk the lemon zest, buttermilk, and yogurt in a separate bowl. Season with salt and pepper according to taste. Remember that the potatoes are already salted, so season accordingly.
5. Pour the buttermilk sauce over the warm potatoes just before serving. Garnish with the scallions.