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How to make the most of leftover cooked potatoes – recipe

·3 min read

Potatoes taste, travel and keep best when they’re covered in clods of soil, because the earth protects them from the light and easy bruising. Soil-encrusted or not, however, always store spuds in a cool, dark cupboard, though the jury is still out on whether they keep longer if stored with apples, because of the ethylene released by the fruit; the moisture produced by onions and other fruit and veg, meanwhile, may well accelerate sprouting, so keep those separate. (If your potatoes do start to sprout or go green, remove and compost these toxic parts; that said, if you have the outside space, you could also let them continue sprouting, then plant them out in the garden.)

Leftover cooked potatoes are a treasure for any cook, not least because they keep for up to a week in the fridge and save on cooking time for subsequent meals. Crush them and dress with vinaigrette, capers, eggs and herbs. Or make Portuguese “punched” potatoes, a skin-on, roast potato alternative that involves gently squashing cooked potatoes, then roasting in plenty of fat at a high temperature. Or cut into squares, then shallow-fry and serve with aïoli and spicy tomato sauce to make patatas bravas. Or turn them into today’s Indian-inspired dish adapted from my latest book.

Aloo chaat

In India, chaat is a popular street food snack typically served on palm leaf “plates”. This dish is a bit like a spiced potato hash, and is perfect for brunch, and for using up leftover cooked potatoes (it makes a glorious samosa filling, too). The tomato pieces turn into sweet, juicy flavour bombs that pop in your mouth, while the finishing touches of yoghurt and tamarind help to cool the spice levels and enrich the dish.

Chaat masala is an aromatic concoction of spices that gives chaat its unique flavour. You can buy it from Indian food shops or online, but it’s also easy to make yourself (and freshly ground spices are always more fragrant, much as coffee is). That said, if garam masala is all you have access to, it will still work well here.

Serves 1 generously, or 2 as a snack

1 tbsp cooking oil
250g leftover cooked potatoes
2
tsp chaat masala, or garam masala, plus 1 tsp extra to serve
120g cooked carlin peas
(or other pulses)
1 tomato, cut into eight wedges
1 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced from top to tail
3 sprigs coriander, stalks finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped
Green chilli, finely sliced, to taste
1 tbsp tamarind paste, to serve
Yoghurt (dairy or plant-based), to serve
1-2 lime wedges
, to serve

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Crush the potatoes, add to the hot pan and fry, stirring occasionally, for five minutes, until they begin to brown.

Stir in the chaat, cooked pulses and tomato and carry on cooking for a few minutes, until the potatoes are golden brown.

Stir in the spring onions, coriander and sliced green chilli to taste, keeping a little of each aside to use as a garnish.

Tip into a bowl, top with the reserved onion, coriander and chilli, sprinkle with a little more chaat and serve with a splatter each of tamarind paste and yoghurt and a lime wedge.

Eating for Pleasure, People & Planet by Tom Hunt is published by Kyle Books, £26.00, octopusbooks.co.uk. To buy a copy for £22.62, go to guardianbookshop.com

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