Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Bombay Potatoes

Update: Yayy, this recipe won in the Main/ Side category of the BCfresh 'Be Fresh' Recipe Challenge! Huge thanks to the organisers and to Food Bloggers of Canada :)

There is a reason why my blog didn't really start taking off until I moved here to Canada. It can be summed up in three words. Marks and Spencer. Hehe. I frequented M&S while living in England, and in my personal opinion, it does some of the best ready meals in England. Which, to be honest, after a day's work, are very very tempting. I did cook a lot, but the proximity and quality of M&S food meant that I stayed with my classics and rarely ventured out of my comfort zone.

M&S was also one of those supermarkets that did really good Indian food as well, even if I didn't know what half of the meals on their shelves were, as they really were all about English Indian food. One of those 'new' dishes was Bombay potatoes. Now Bombay, or Mumbai, has some pretty good potato dishes, but I have never come across anything quite like this one in all my years of living in and visiting Bombay :) The M&S Bombay potatoes were pretty good though, and though I always scratched my head as to where they actually came from, it never stopped me from munching on them with satisfaction.

BCfresh New Nugget Potatoes aka Warba 

So, when I saw the BCfresh had announced their 'Be Fresh' Recipe Challenge, I knew exactly what I was going to make with those gorgeous pink-eyed Warba or New Nugget potatoes. I have grown very used to fresh baby potatoes, living here in Canada, as they are not overly popular in India (though they're getting there!) I rarely mess with them, as I love their fresh, clean flavour, and several times a week we have them just lightly steamed with a pat of butter, alongside our dinner. But for this challenge, I wanted to try something unique and different, that, while preserving the flavour of these little nuggets, also added an element of exotic interest to them.

The BCfresh New Nugget or Warba potatoes were ideal for this recipe that I came up with. I have no clue if they taste like those M&S potatoes (its been a long time since I've eaten them), but the verdict on this dish in my house was overwhelmingly positive. The Warba potatoes kept their delicate, intriguing flavour and it was beautifully enhanced by the spices I sautéed them in . All the spices I used are readily available everywhere, as I wanted to make this recipe accesible, but if you are feeling authentic, I would love it if you made this with my fresh garam masala, as using fresh spices hugely adds to the flavour. The potatoes were lightly crisp and spicy on the outside and sweet and creamy on the inside. They definitely don't need to be peeled either, considerably lessening the prep time. In fact, this whole recipe took me less than 30 minutes, start to finish, and this included the boiling time for the potatoes. You can very easily steam the potatoes, instead of boiling them to preserve more of their nutrients, and both methods work very well. The cilantro garnish adds its characteristic light, fresh, zingy flavour at the end. If you prefer, you can even squeeze the juice of half a lemon over these potatoes to take them to a different level.

This is a versatile dish, and can be served hot or warm. It adds a special touch to a classic Sunday roast, as well as being perfectly comfortable as an everyday meal with some naan or roti. It can be made ahead, and reheated (though you may lose the crispness of the potatoes) if you wish. Just don't expect those Mumbaikars to know what it is :)

Bombay Potatoes

(Printable Recipe)
Makes 2 servings 

Around 15 - 20 Warba (BCfresh New Nugget) potatoes, halved
1 tablespoon unscented oil
1 teaspoon brown or yellow mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves (optional)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 inch piece of ginger, grated to a pulp 
1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes  
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric 
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala 
Salt to taste
Large handful fresh cilantro, to garnish
Juice of half a lemon (optional)


Boil the potatoes in salted water, until just tender. Drain and keep aside.

Pour the oil into a deep sauté pan, placed on a medium heat.

Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves (if using) and stir for about 30 seconds, until the seeds start to pop. Lower the heat.

Add the garlic and the ginger, and stir for 30 seconds.

Add the chilli flakes, ground turmeric, cumin and garam masala, and sauté together for an additional minute, until the spices start to smell fragrant.

Toss in the nugget potatoes, and stir them gently, making sure they are well coated with all the spices. Fry together for about 2 - 3 minutes, until they just start to brown on the bottom.

Season to taste with salt and take off the heat.

Stir in the fresh cilantro, to serve. Squeeze over the juice of half a lemon just before serving, if desired.
Can be served hot or just warm.


  1. Love the new look and name of your blog, Mich. Hugs and wish you best of Luck!

    1. Thanks Ansh, I agonised a while over it, but then decided to go for it! Hugs!

  2. Michelle the potatoes looks yummy.

  3. so flavorful... fabulous job! my family would love these!

    1. Thanks Ally, don't forget to come back and let me know the verdict :)

  4. Good recipe for a new beginning! We do get baby potatoes here but only for a short time in winter - they are our 'new potatoes!' Some are so small that they are used whole or just smashed and cooked instead of being chopped!

    1. Thank you Anita. We never used to get the baby potatoes in the South, maybe they get them now. I love having them all the time here.

  5. I love potatoes in all forms and I'll definitely be giving your recipe a try. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary

    1. Thank you Mary. Please let me know how you liked it :)

  6. For many years I staggered off the commuter train and into M&S for something quick and cheering to eat, so know exactly what you mean. I love the combination of the plain old potato and exotic spice. I never thought that Bombay potato was authentic, but it didn't stop me eating it.
    I love the new name and the new look. I didn't think you'd mind me dropping your name here:
    Unless you changed the name as a result.

    1. Hehe, thanks Phil, I am so pleased to know I am one of your blogging go-tos, though you flatter me :) The name change is to reflect the way things have been heading for a while. And yeah, M&S rock, don't they?

  7. I tend to make Indian cuisine in the winter when I want something warm, spicy and cozy...comfort food. I was just thinking of how I missed your butter chicken. This is the perfect summer dish! The house smelled amazing for hours! The lemon gave it that really summery fresh taste. Loved it!

    1. Thanks so much Julie (I finally know your name :)) I loved this dish for its simplicity and the fact that unlike most Indian dishes I didn't have to slave for hours over a hot stove! Makes a big difference, that!

  8. Congratulations Michelle! As you know your wonderful recipe was selected the Category Winner for Main/Sides in the BCfresh Be Fresh New Nugget Recipe Contest.

    Your recipe will be featured in our upcoming e-cookbook! Have a fantastic weekend!

    1. Thanks so much for the honour, Brian!! I had a blast creating and tasting the recipe :)

  9. I tried it and its delicious !!

  10. YUM. The last comment cracked me up. :)

  11. Hey! We just did a post on Warba potatoes and your recipe looked so tasty, we had to list it. Thanks for such a great recipe! http://www.bcbsides.ca/theres-a-new-spud-in-town/


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