If thinking of new ways to dress up the common potato is a weekly challenge, let panfusine's "podimas," or Indian crumble, inspire your next meal. Standard Idahoes get a wake-up call from a warming combination of cumin, mustard seeds, ginger, and curry leaves. A touch of heat from the cherry pepper is balanced by bright lime and cilantro. Podimas may vaguely resemble an American skillet potato hash, but the flavor is anything but. Add a sprinkling of salt and pepper just before serving to tie these interesting flavors and textures together.
Its hard contemplate or clearly remember life before the discovery of the internet... or the potato. Can't think of a more universal ingredient that so many cuisines have adapted (well... maybe chilli pepper), So its but natural that when the 2 South American expats get together.. its like a match made in ... Kitchen Stadium!
ok.. what the ^&%^&% is 'podimas'?.. the history (I think) goes back to the colonial Brits and the Portuguese. They were responsible for the introduction of ' western veggies' into India. While the brahmin orthodoxy took their time to incorporate them into their traditional cuisine (a lot of the new world veggies are 'non kosher' for many ceremonial feasts to this day!), one of the dishes they happily incorporated and laid claim was the mashed potato! since creaming vegetables to a smooth mashed consistency was really not favored (even considered over done & hence fit only for a convalescent diet, for babies, or the old toothless great grandaunt with the prayerbeads in the corner ), Potatoes were crumbled finely and sauteed with onions & peas. but the 'mash' stuck along with the Tamil word for 'crumble' (podi) & hence the name 'podi mas'. The consistency of this dish varies from recipe to recipe some like it crumbly & bone dry while others prefer a softer, more moist version. I like making this in a cast iron pan simply to get the lovely golden crunchy crust from the bottom of the pan. Notes: By all means, go ahead & substitute 1/2 a deseeded jalapeno instead of the cherry pepper. The function is simply to provide the heat.