Curry, the aromatic blend of warm spices, punches up the most ordinary foods. Take potatoes, this cold season’s reliable staple. Just sprinkle a little curry and a squirt of lime juice into the dressing for potato salad, and you’ve sparked a winning side dish. Add cooked chicken and you’ve got a light meal.
There is no rigid definition of curry, but it most often contains a mix of ginger, garlic, turmeric, chile peppers, cumin, fenugreek, fennel seed, caraway, cinnamon, clove, mustard seed, cardamom, nutmeg and black pepper. The ingredients will vary depending on the cook and the region’s influences. India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Caribbean all prize their own curries. It makes sense to find a blend or several blends to suit your individual tastes.
Potatoes work nicely with curry, as their neutral flavors can take the heat. The best potatoes for salads are the waxy varieties such as Yukon Gold, Red Bliss and fingerling. They have the least amount of starch and retain their shape when boiled.
Be sure to start the potatoes in cold water, not boiling, and to salt the water generously. The potatoes will absorb some of the salt so that they’re seasoned from the inside out. Be sure the potatoes are cooked thoroughly, so that they’re firm, not crunchy or overcooked and mushy. They should be barely tender when pierced with a fork.
This salad will hold a day or two in the refrigerator and so may be prepared ahead. Double the recipe for a party but save some for a weekday dinner. Curry favor and comfort with this down-home dish.
Curry Potato Salad
• 1 1/2 lb. red, fingerling or new potatoes, scrubbed
• 2 tsp. salt
• 1/4 c. mayonnaise
• 3 tbsp. whole milk yogurt
• 2 tbsp. curry powder, or more to taste
• 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice, to taste
• 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Place the potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover by several inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, add the salt, and reduce to a gentle boil. Cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain into a colander. Allow to cool enough to handle, then cut into 2-inch chunks.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, curry powder and lime juice. Place the potatoes into a large bowl along with the bell pepper, add the dressing and toss to thoroughly coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm, at room temperature or cold.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 164 Carbohydrates 23 g Protein 3 g Fat 8 g Saturated fat 1 g Cholesterol 5 mg Sodium 340 mg
Calcium 46 mg
Dietary fiber 4 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 ½ bread/starch, 1 ½ fat.
Beth Dooley is the author of “In Winter’s Kitchen.” Find her at bethdooleyskitchen.com.