South Indian Potato Curry

This south Indian potato curry recipe takes inspiration from the Chennai region. The flavours come from dried hot red chillies, mustard seeds and garam masala.


A southern potato curry from the Chennai region, this would be served there with rice. In the north, though, it would be accompanied by a flatbread. Dal and vegetables should be added to the meal

Serves 4


3 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
1 tsp whole brown mustard seeds
½ tsp skinned urad dal or yellow split peas
2 whole dried, hot red chillies
15-20 fresh curry leaves or 10 fresh basil leaves, torn
½ medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 tsp ground coriander
⅛-¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garam masala
450g/1lb waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-cm/¾- inch dice
1 tsp salt
120ml/4fl oz coconut milk, from a well-shaken can
4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander


Pour the oil into a medium pan and set over a medium-high heat. When hot, put in the mustard seeds, urad dal and chillies. As soon as the seeds begin to pop, a matter of seconds, put in the curry leaves and onion. Lower the heat to medium. Stir and fry the onion for about 3 minutes, or until it has softened but not browned.

Add the tomato, ground coriander, cayenne pepper and garam masala. Stir for 1 minute. Add the potatoes and stir another minute. Now put in 250 ml/8 fl oz water and the salt. Bring to the boil. Cover, lower the heat and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

Finally, add the coconut milk and fresh coriander. Stir and heat through.

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