Five Spice Potatoes and Kale uses the Bengali five-spice blend, Panch Phoron, to season a pairing of fried potatoes and blanched Kale leaves.
The ‘Five Spices’ in this recipe name refers to the Bengali spice blend Panch Phoron. The blend forms the flavor base for this pairing of pre-blanched Kale leaves and Potatoes which are deep-fried after being coated in Besan (Chickpea Flour). These two individual ingredients are then finally stir-fried with the spices for a delicious side-dish that works well as part of any Indian feast.
The Kale leaves used in this recipe need to be pre-blanched before cooking with the potatoes. To do this, drop the leaves into boiling salted water for a minute or so until they turn bright green, the remove and plunge them into cold water to stop the cooking. Afterwards, wring out excess water and chop coarsely.
As for the Bengali Spice blend, you can buy this in any Indian grocery store, or online, but if you would like to make it yourself, or just learn a little more about it, you can read my Introduction to Panch Phoron which also includes some other recipes on how to use it.
First, mix together the besan, turmeric, salt and pepper. Rinse the potato chunks in cold water and then lightly pat dry. Toss them in a bowl with the besan mixture making sure they are all well-coated.
Heat oil for deep-frying and then shake the potato chunks to remove any excess coating mix. Deep-fry the chunks, in batches if necessary, and when they are nicely cooked through drain on paper towels and set aside for the time being.
Heat the oil or ghee in a deep pan over a high flame and when the oil begins to shimmer, add the Panch Phoron. When the seed begin to pop, add the greens and toss rapidly until they are wilted and softened but still retain their color. Remove to a separate bowl for the moment.
Add the potatoes to the pan and toss until cooked through and then add back the greens for a final few seconds. Sprinkle with a little salt, if desired and then serve.
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Five Spice Potatoes and Kale
- 2 cups potato cut into smallish chunks;
- 1 tbsp. Besan or plain flour;
- 1 tsp. Turmeric;
- ½ tsp. each Salt and Pepper;
- 1 cup Kale pre-blanched and coarsely chopped;
- 1 ½ tsp. Panch Phoron;
- 3 tbsp. Cooking Oil or Ghee;
- Mix together the Besan, Turmeric, Salt and Pepper.
- Rinse the potato chunks in cold water, lightly pat dry, then toss them with the Besan mixture to coat.
- Shake the chunks free of exess coating, deep-fry in hot oil just until just golden then drain on paper towel.
- Heat Oil, or ghee, over a high flame in a pan and add the Panch Phoron. When the seeds begin to pop, stir-fry the Kale until wilted and remove to a bowl for the moment.
- Add the potatoes to the pan and stir-fry until heated through again, the add back the Kale, toss a few more times and serve.