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Spud Sunday: Searching For Breakfast

Indian Potato Pancake

In texture and composition, this pancake is somewhere between a rösti [1] and a spanish omelette [2], while the spices used give it a definite Indian flavour. The quantity below makes for a generous single serving, but to feed more people you could easily double or triple the quantities and use a larger pan.

You’ll need:

  • 1 medium-sized potato, about 200g
  • rapeseed, peanut or other vegetable oil for frying
  • 0.25 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 0.25 tsp cumin seeds
  • pinch of nigella seeds / kalonji [3] – (optional)
  • 25g finely chopped onion
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 0.25 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tblsp chopped fresh coriander

You’ll also need:

  • A small frying pan, around 20cm across, preferably non-stick, and a plate that’s slightly larger than the pan (for turning the pancake over).

The Steps:

  • Scrub the potato very well and (leaving the skin on) grate it. Place the grated potato into a clean tea towel, twist and squeeze to remove as much water as possible.
  • Place your pan over a medium heat and, when hot, add enough oil to coat the pan. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and nigella seeds. When the mustard seeds start to pop (after about a minute), add the onion and fry for about five minutes or so, until starting to soften.
  • Add the chopped garlic and ginger, stir and fry for about a minute more, then add the grated potato and sprinkle with the salt. Stir and fry the potato for around 10-12 minutes, adding some more oil if the mixture seems dry.
  • Now flatten the potato mixture and spread it out so that it covers the base of the pan. Mix the chopped coriander with the beaten egg and pour evenly over the potatoes. Cook for a further 5-7 minutes, until the egg and potato pancake seems set.
  • Now turn the pancake, by taking a plate or flat saucepan lid, placing it on the frying pan, and inverting the pan so that the pancake ends up on the plate. Then slide it carefully back into the pan and cook on the second side for a further 3-4 minutes.
  • Enjoy the pancake on its own or perhaps with some fried tomatoes, mushrooms and other breakfast fare.

The Variations:

  • Of course you can vary the flavourings according to your taste: add some chilli flakes to the egg, say, or omit the spices and ginger and add thyme and parsley or whatever else takes your fancy.

The Results:

  • Serves one generously.