mango-spiced baby potatoes with buttermilk sauce

Mango-spiced baby potatoes with buttermilk sauce

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.

Baby Purple Potatoes

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. 

Dried Mango PowderPurple as can beSea-Salt

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.

naan and garlic naan

One of the most exciting things about my experience blogging has been hearing from people all over the place but a more humbling and gratifying experience is when fellow bloggers use your recipes and reinvent them. Olivia Lin at the Yummy Year Project recently reworked a previous post of mine on turkey based potato pockets into a delicious vegan potato cake. Olivia has a wonderful goal tied with her blog, she raises money via her blog to support the Ebongalethu Educare Center in South Africa. Do visit her blog if you get a chance.

The city's holiday decorations this year have been a bit less intense than previous. We went down to Union Station to check out their annual decorations but it now surrounded by massive constructions and renovations that are overwhelmingly intense. In the end we settled for walking around the neighborhood for a couple of minutes in the cold winter breeze.

The Old Post Office building was looking mighty majestic with its vibrant architecture and holiday wreaths.

All this cold weather has been pushing me towards making homemade warm breads. It was high time that I tried cooking up some traditional naans at home. This recipe is for the non-yeast based naans which makes it fast, quick, easy and fool proof. No need for a fancy "tandoor" or special grill, all you need is a skillet and a rolling pin. 

naan and garlic naan


naan dough
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

garlic-cilantro butter

1 clove of garlic minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 stick of butter

making the naans

1. Knead all the ingredients together to form a ball of dough. Keep the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover the top with cling wrap to prevent a skin from from forming on the surface of the dough. Let the dough rest for at least 4 hours at room temperature. Make balls of the dough about 2-2 1/2 inches in diameter. 
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the naans in circular motion. While rolling out the dough do not use too much flour as it stretches and flattens. Stretch the dough into a tear drop shape by pulling it gently in one direction and using the base of your palm to hold it down at the opposite end. Each stretched out naan should not be too thin or it will tear. Heat a skillet on a high flame and slap the naan directly on to the surface. Cover the skillet immediately with a tight lid. This seals the steam in which is necessary to cook the naan and give it its characteristic blistered appearance. After about 3-4 minutes, flip the naan and reduce the flame to a medium and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Remove the hot naan and keep on a clean cloth or paper towel to absorb the steam. Serve hot. 

for garlic naans
Blend the ingredients together for the garlic-cilantro butter. Spread about 1/2 teaspoon of the butter with a spoon evenly on the surface of a fresh hot garlic naan that is straight off the skillet. Serve hot.