I spent the last week hosting some good friends from out of town, which meant taking taking part in an all-out, seven-day Southeast Asian food binge-fest as I trotted my friends around Singapore. After all that, you'd think I'd be ready for some mild flavored dishes. Instead, I've been wanting to cook more of these full-flavored, exotic dishes. Though I've overeaten all week, a part of me had been dreaming about something fried up with nutty ghee—potatoes and ghee to be exact.
To start my dish, I picked a medium to low starch potato (such as Yukon Gold or new potatoes). This type of tuber is moist, creamy, and can withstand being tossed around a bit in a pan without breaking apart into a mash. I also pre-cooked them so that I could add them right into the stir-fry and their soft texture would soak up all of the flavors. Once the potatoes were done I pulled out some spices (turmeric, cumin, and mustard seeds) and a favorite aromatic ingredient of Indian cuisine: fresh curry leaves. As I grabbed for the ghee, though, my guilt got the better of me, so I decided to skip it. Into the pan went a more reasonable mix of canola and a tablespoon of butter.
After toasting the aromatics and frying up the potatoes, I tossed in cubes of boneless chicken to ensure that this would be a dinner-suitable meal. And it was, even though I'd be just as content forking through a big bowl of potatoes for my supper.
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About the author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Easy Artisan Bread. You can also watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. She presently lives in Singapore working on her new baking cookbook, and as a recipe developer for HungryGoWhere Singapore. Check out her blog, shophousecook.com, or follow her on Twitter @yvonneruperti.