This dish was actually an accident, I was going to make something else with spinach, discovered that it had gone completely green and watery in the fridge so I had a look around to see what else I had and came up with this. Its really easy, just like a classic gratin but with the addition of the toasted cumin seed, makes a delicious warming, comforting and tasty side. I had to stop myself eating the whole dish .. We had ours with my favorite chicken curry recipe belonging to Sunil Ghai (below) of the amazing Ananda restaurant, but it would be great with any meat or fish dish.
Indian Spiced Sweet Potato Gratin
2 large sweet potatoes – peeled and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove peeled
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 spring onions peeled and chopped
1 shallot peeled and finely chopped
250ml each of cream and milk
Heat a pan and add 1 tbsp rapeseed oil.
Add the cumin seed and when they crackle add the spring onion and shallot and cook on a medium heat until the shallot is golden.
Add the milk and cream and season really well.
Bring the heat up until it just comes to the boil.
Grease the inside of the gratin dish and rub with the clove of garlic.
Place a layer of potato into the dish to cover the bottom,Season well.
Add another Layer, season again and keep going until you have used all the potatoes.
Pour the milk cream mixture over the potatoes and tip into the oven (put the dish onto a flat baking tray to save the bottom of your oven).
Bake for about an hour and from time to time, push the potatoes down into the liquid using a fish slice. After about an hour the top will be lovely golden brown and the potatoes will be tender. Serve with your favorite chicken curry (Mine is below).
North Indian Style Chicken Curry
6 chicken thighs, skin and bone removed, cut into 2″ dice
100ml rapeseed oil
1 bay leaf
Spice mix made from 5 green cardamoms, 1” cinnamon stock, 1 tsp black peppercorns, 1 star anise, 2 tsp cuimin seeds and 4 cloves – Just gather everything and pound them in your Mortar & Pestle or in spice blender.
½ lb onions finely sliced
1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
1 ½ tsp each of ground coriander, turmeric, red chilli powder
4oz canned tomatoes, juice drained away
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 ½ tsp salt
Enough water to cover
1 tsp Garam Masala
2 tbsp chopped coriander
Heat the oil in a pot and add the pounded spices and the bay leaf. Stir till the spices release their aromas and start to crackle. Be careful not to burn as they will be bitter if they do.
Add the onions and cook will golden brown then add the garlic ginger paste and stir continuously.
Add a little water if it starts to burn on the bottom of the pan.
Add the powdered spices and stir quickly, add the tomatoes, the tomato paste, salt and stir to combine. Tip in the chicken and enough water to cover everything (about 400ml).
Season really well and cook on a slow heat stirring slowly occasionally.
As the sauce thickens, add water if you need it to keep everything covered.
Cook for about 20 – 25 minutes until the chicken is almost fully cooked.
Sprinkle in the Garam Masala and just before serving sprinkle in the chopped coriander.