We Desis have a way of Indianizing every dish we can get our hands on. When we forget to weave that magic on a certain recipe, the rest of the world goes ahead and does it for us. I mean, Maggi Masala Noodles is a national snack of sorts back home and I have a friend who knows to make only one kind of pasta: the Marinara Masala Spaghetti, as I have dubbed it. While I do appreciate the eclectic flavor a multi-cuisine dish can radiate and get a kick out of reading about condiments and spices common to cuisines world over, I am a prude when it comes to my kitchen. Indo-Chinese is as far as I’ve ever gone since I am familiar with it. So when I made these fries this afternoon, I felt like I was standing at the pinnacle of my multi-cuisine creativity while in reality, all I did was add delicious Indian spices to basic French Fries.
But in my defense, desperate times call for desperate measures. I’ve been hitting my books with a vengeance for, my exams are looming over me next week. When my academic adviser told me that combining Finance and Accounts in a term (note, not a semester but its evil condensed form), I knew I should have listened to her. Oh well, my bad. Studying this hard has left me with no motivation to cook, leave alone dress it up and click pretty pictures. So late last night, I remembered that two years of trying to perfect the non-fried French fries has yielded great results and I could play on that. Hence, my Indian fries were born today. One thing though: they are yummy. You might need to make double the batch. After half an hour of trying to get a few perfect shots, I realized that my fries had gone cold. That did not stop me from thanking god K was not home to steal from my plate and gobbling it all up while watching Cupcake Wars. What? A girl can take a break from balancing accounts, ya know!
Three medium-sized Idaho or Russet potatoes (Yukon, I find, is wasted here)
One tsp salt
One tsp each cumin and coriander powder
One pinch red pepper flakes
One tsp Chat Masala (for the more daring people, I suggest Garam Masala)
Two Tbsp canola oil
Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC) Peel and cut potatoes length-wise into thick wedges. Pat the wedges down with paper towel or a kitchen cloth to dab out all the moisture. Transfer it to a bowl and add the salt and oil. There are two methods you can choose from now. You can either add the spices to this or save it up to add on after the fries are done. If you use Garam Masala, which has a pretty strong flavor, I suggest you add it before baking. Chat Masala is always tastier when garnished in the end.
Make sure all the potato wedges are evenly coated with oil and spices. Lightly grease a baking sheet with PAM. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on the sheet and bake for 30 minutes, tossing once, 20 minutes into baking. The fries will end up golden and crispy on the outside and soft and done on the inside. When done, transfer to a bowl and mix in the spices. You could finish it off with a generous squeeze of lemon juice.
Eat it with mint-cilantro chutney, spicy chat dip from the Pakoda post or as one of my friends on Facebook has suggested, onion Chutney.