Experiment: Spicy Roast Potatoes and Peppers

I put this dish together as an accompaniment to my Haldi Chicken, which I featured in another ‘Experiments’ post. In keeping with the Indian ‘spirit’ of that dish, I tried to select a spice blend that would complement the flavors of the chicken and, since the chicken seasoning was quite mild, I decided to ‘fire up’ the spice blend for the potatoes with a little chilli…

The Ingredients

  • 1 lb baby Potatoes
  • 1 medium Sweet Red Pepper
  • 4 tbsp. Butter
  • ½ tsp. Yellow Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tsp. Nigella Seeds
  • 1 tsp. Fennel Seed
  • 1 tbsp. minced Garlic
  • 1 tbsp. Chili flakes
  • Salt and Pepper

The Method

First, cut larger potatoes into quarters and the smaller ones in half, and then slice the sweet pepper into small strips.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat and add the mustard, nigella and fennel seeds.

As soon as the seeds begin to give off their aroma, add the chili and garlic, stir for a moment or two, and then add the potatoes and pepper strips. Stir to coat the main ingredients with butter and spices and then season with salt and pepper.

Finally, put the mix into a large baking pan and roast in a 425-degree oven for about an hour. Stir once or twice during cooking and then, when all is cooked through and just starting to get a little crispy and brown, turn into an appropriate dish for service. Garnish with parsley flakes or cilantro leaves if desired.

The Verdict

These turned out very nicely and were a nice accompaniment to chicken. The amount of chili I used might be a little too much for some people but my wife and I both liked the spicy heat very much and the additional seeds lent the overall taste a nice, toasty aromatic depth. The beauty of a simple dish like this, of course, is that there is a lot of scope for improvisation in the types and amounts of spices used and I would welcome hearing about any follow-up experiments by my readers…

25 thoughts on “Experiment: Spicy Roast Potatoes and Peppers”

  1. I was wondering the same thing, I’ve never heard of Nigella seeds. I think quantities in spices can be variable, but I always like to have a starting point, like your recipe here, to be sure of a good outcome:)

    1. They always make me think of Ms Lawson too 🙂 But, no … they are a small seed that look a little like Black sesame but with a slightly different shape. You see them in Indian cookery books under the Hindi name ‘Kalonji’. They get called ‘Black Onion’ seeds but they are not related and they get mistaken for ‘Black Cumin’ which is similar but still different. I use ‘Black Cumin’ quite often and just used it in a dish this evening that I will post sometime over the next couple of weeks…

  2. I’ll bet you could even streamline the recipe a little more if you do the first few steps in an oven-proof skillet, then just transfer the skillet to the oven when you’re ready to roast. In any case, this sure does look yummy!

      1. You will like it! When I was a kid it was very hard to find, but now I see it everywhere. Not sure about your neck of the woods, though…

    1. My wife loves raitas and I sometimes make some (yoghurt with chopped cucumber, for example). I’m not a huge fan of either sour cream or raw yoghurt.. I sometimes ‘cheat’ and make a relish with cucumber salad dressing

  3. That looks delicious!! Like some other commenters, I’d never heard of Nigella seeds until now. I’ll keep an eye out for them next time I go shopping. 🙂

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