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Potato Cumin Curry

October 4, 2011

My Potato Cumin Curry is an adaptation of a Mark Bittman recipe in Kitchen Express. The original recipe is a pretty basic vegetarian curry; I added a jalapeno pepper, ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper, asafetida, and mango powder to spice it up.

Asafetida and mango powder are Indian spices that I happened to have on hand. I ordered them from Just omit them, if you don’t have them.

This Potato Cumin Curry turned out to be quite spicy, which I liked. The heat of the dish depends on the heat of your jalapeno pepper, curry powder, and cayenne pepper. This can vary quite a bit, so use the amounts given as a guideline, and adjust to suit your taste.

I used canned chickpeas, which certainly made it quick and easy. This recipe will be so much better, though, if you cook your own chickpeas. Home-cooked chickpeas are much more tender and flavorful than canned ones.

Potato Cumin Curry is a quick dish that I would definitely make again. Next time I might add a couple of chopped tomatoes, or a can of drained diced tomatoes, to add color and another flavor.


 Potato Cumin Curry

(Adapted from a recipe in Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Express)


Update February 28, 2017: I have just learned that asafetida usually includes wheat so it is not gluten-free. Simply eliminate asafetida to make the recipe gluten-free.


(print the recipe)


Serves 4 as a main dish


1 jalapeno pepper, minced

2 tablespoons minced ginger

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons curry powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon mango powder (optional)

1/8 teaspoon asafetida (optional; omit for gluten-free)

2 large russet potatoes (1½ pounds total)

2 tablespoons oil (I used coconut oil)

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

1 can coconut milk

1 cup water

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 1¾ – 2 cups cooked chickpeas)


Rice, for serving

Cilantro, for serving


Jalapeno, ginger, and garlic


1. Mince the jalapeno pepper, ginger, and garlic, and set aside. (Scrape the ginger with a spoon to remove the peel.)

2. Combine the curry powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, mango powder, and asafetida in a small bowl.

3. Peel the potatoes, and cut them into ½-inch cubes. Put them in a bowl of cold water so they won’t turn brown before you use them.


4. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, just until they soften, about 3 – 4 minutes.

5. Add the jalapeno, ginger, and garlic. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute.

6. Add the spices (curry powder, cumin, cayenne, mango powder, and asafetida) to the pan. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

7. Drain the potatoes and add them to the pan. Stir to coat with the spices.

8. Add the coconut milk and about 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat so it’s just simmering. Cover and cook until the potatoes are tender. This will take about 15 minutes.

9. Add the chickpeas and cook until the chickpeas are warm, just a few minutes.

10. Serve over rice, and top with chopped cilantro, if desired.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. October 4, 2011 3:01 pm

    That looks like a dish from one of my favorite Indian restaurants! Yum! I love the addition of the cumin too. That photo is making me hungry 🙂

  2. October 5, 2011 7:41 am

    Indian spices?? Yes, please! The only curry I know how to cook is the Thai curry. While it’s good, I adore Indian food but I never knew how to cook it. I need to make this! Thank you for sharing this and teaching me how to expand my curry abilities! 😀

    • October 8, 2011 1:21 pm

      I have been a little intimidated by Indian food, Dionne, but this is pretty darn easy. I think you would like it!

  3. October 5, 2011 1:25 pm

    Oh wow this looks amazing!! I’m loving all the flavors! 🙂

  4. October 5, 2011 11:11 pm

    Looks delicious! Will definitely be trying it out… thanks!

  5. October 6, 2011 7:10 pm

    Wow this looks delicious! I don’t have the two Indian spices, but it looks like it will be good either way. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • October 8, 2011 1:14 pm

      Thanks! I’m sure it will still be delicious even if you don’t have the mango powder and asafetida. 😉

  6. Rande permalink
    October 24, 2011 7:32 pm

    Sounds super tasty, I think this would be a hit at my place.

  7. November 21, 2011 12:20 pm

    I just tried an adaptation of your recipe. I did not have mango powder and asafetida at home, so I skipped them. And I used peas instead of chickpeas and whole cumin instead of ground. It turned out super tasty! I’ll definitely try it again with chickpeas. Thanks for sharing!

    • November 21, 2011 4:26 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment! Using whole cumin is a great idea, and I’m sure it was great with the peas!


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