Some weekdays I am so excited I make a lot of things in the morning but forget to cook my packed lunch. Today was one such. It just happened that I had been to Jambli Naka, Thane’s main vegetable market area a couple of days back and bought home vegetables enough to last the whole week. Yesterday P on his way back from buying fruits found some veggies tempting and bought in another bunch. The result is that I am in a marathon cooking race in order to finish the vegetables while they are still fresh.
Last night I made vegan chikoo ice creams and as I am writing this I am slurping on a delicious, creamy scoop. But this isn’t about the ice cream. This is about the potatoes that were threatening to fall off from the ‘tokri’ [basket] that precariously held them. The potatoes we get during summer is ideal for baking. They are large and oblong with thin, smooth skin. They are convenient for slicing half-way, but you can use any size as long as you are fine with the slicing.
Hasselback potatoes have nothing to do with David Hasselhoff. This simple yet brilliant dish comes from Sweden and takes its name from Hasselbacken, the restaurant that first served them. It is not very different from baked potatoes and yet there is brilliance in the recipe. This recipe renders crusty tops but supremely tender insides.
So what is so great about baked potatoes, whether they are wedges or accordion like? There are many things that work for me in this dish. They are not as oily, heavy or messy. You won’t need a sauce to serve. The herbs inside the slices remain tender and do not dry up as in potato wedges. They look nice too and that helps when you have a fussy kid.
Dish: Vegan Herbed Hasselback Potatoes or Accordion Potatoes
Yield: Serves 2
My recipe is adapted from Chicho’s kitchen
Large, oblong potatoes, Season’s new ones preferably – 2
Garlic powder – 1/2 tsp.
Red pepper flakes – 1/2 tsp.
Olive oil – 3 tbsps.
Nutritional yeast flakes (optional) – 1 tbsp.
Mix of fresh chives. coriander, rosemary, thyme, parsley – 3 tbsps. (any herbs)
Black salt or kala namak – 2 pinches
Sea salt to taste
Pre-heat oven at 220 deg. C.
Wash and scrub potatoes in cold water and pat dry. Place potatoes on the longer side and slice thin (mine were about 4mm thick) three quarters down. Do not slice all the way down or you will cut the potatoes. The reason for not slicing all the way is to let the potatoes fan out after baking and retain the herbs inside.
In a small bowl mix the oil with the rest of the ingredients. Using a cutlery knife, scoop small portions and apply the herb mixtures in between the slices well.
Roll potatoes in the bowl to cover with left over herb and oil mixture on the outside too.
Line baking pan with foil. Place the potatoes on it. Bake for about 50 minutes at 220 deg. C till the skin becomes brown and crisp.
Garnish with herbs used inside. Serve immediately.
Meanwhile alphonsos are here and making their seductive presence felt all the time. I still haven’t had enough of the fruits, so incorporating them in desserts is not happening yet.