2tablespoonvegetable oilyou can add extra if you like
1teaspoonmustard seedsskip if unavailable
1.5teaspooncumin seedscan substitute with cumin powder - check recipe notes
6potatoesmedium, Yukon Gold
Parboil the potatoes
Bring a pot of water to boil along with 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder. Quarter the potatoes (no need to peel) and drop them into the water once you start to see bubbles appear in the water. Boil for about 10-15 minutesNote: At the 10 minute mark, take a fork and poke your potatoes. If the fork goes through cleanly, you're good to go. If they don't, let them cook a bit more, checking every minute using the same technique. You don't want to over boil them.
Prep Spice Mix
In a medium sized bowl (that can hold all the potatoes) add the chickpea flour, remaining turmeric, salt, and red chili powder and give it a good whisk.
Make Jeera Aloo (aka Bombay Potatoes)
Once the potatoes are done boiling, remove from heat using a colander or slotted spoon. Rinse the potatoes under cold water to stop them from further cooking and peel the potatoes (the peels should come right off)
Drop the peeled potatoes into the bowl with the spice mix and give it a good toss to coat them evenly. Now, add about 4 teaspoons of water to make sure the spices stick to the potatoes. Don't add too much water!
In a skillet, heat vegetable oil on medium heat.
Once the oil starts to glisten, add mustard seeds. Then, once the mustard seeds starts sputtering, add cumin seeds. Toast for about 20 seconds taking care not to burn the seeds. Note: You can skip the mustard seeds if you don't have them, and add the cumin seeds straight to the oil. If you plan to use cumin powder, skip this step entirely and add the cumin powder after you add the potatoes.
Toss the potatoes into the skillet, taking care not to overcrowd them. Give them a good stir and let them cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Then give them one more good stir and let them cook another 3 to 4 minutes. Your potatoes should be golden brown by this time. If not, give it a few more minutes until they are.
Once they are golden brown, turn the heat off, garnish with some curry leaves (note: these are not bay leaves!) or cilantro if you wish, and serve hot with naan, rice or any other main dish of choice.
Using the chickpea flour makes the potatoes ultra crispy. If you don't have that on hand, you can just toss the potatoes in the spices and drop them in the oil. You might need to watch the potatoes as they cook to make sure they're crispy the way you want it (and it might take a bit more time!)
Adjust the spice to your taste levels. In my household, we use Kashmiri red chili powder when I need heat - this is quite potent. If you want milder flavors but still a kick, you can use paprika instead.