Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Aloo Gratin

Last week, on Halloween night, Mr. S and I decide to do something different. 

We live in an apartment, and thus don't get too many trick-or-treaters. Last year we were left with an unscuffed doormat and a massive bowl o' candy. 

This year? We took an Indian cooking class with I Heart Curry. We cooked Upma (a cream of wheat based dish I'd only ever even seen once before), Chicken in a Nutty Gravy (which has an actual Indian name that sounds cooler, but then we'd never guess what it was), and Polao (flavorful rice). 

It was totally the best thing ever. If you live in the Bay Area and like Indian food - this is the lady to go see. 

But after all that, I was completely inspired. I cleaned out my spice cupboard. And then I made this. 

Potatoes au gratin - Indian style!

Start off with butter and onions.

Add a bunch of spices. Mmmmm. Now your house smells divine.

In goes the cream/half & half and a bay leaf. Let cook.

Slice up your potatoes into thin rounds.

And be sure to butter your baking dish.

Layer a third of the potatoes in.

Top with spiced cream.

Then top with parmesan. Do it all again so there's 3 layers.

Bake at 375 for 45 minutes. Let rest for at least 10 minutes. Then dive in!

I love inspiration!

Aloo Gratin
Serves 4-6

4-6 smallish purple potatoes
2 red potatoes
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground fennel
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to your taste - this is where the spicy is)
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic, diced
salt & pepper
1 1/2 c. half & half or cream (you can use milk, it's just a little watery)

1 c. Parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Using a mandolin and a hand guard (get a mesh glove), slice the potatoes to 1/4" thickness, or there abouts. Thin is what you're going for.

In a small saucepan, saute the butter and onions for a few minutes. Add in the turmeric, coriander, fennel, cumin, ginger, and garlic. Stir around and cook for another couple minutes, until fragrant. Pour in the half & half and add the bay leaf. Let cook just below a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.

Butter a 9x9 square glass baking dish. Layer in the potatoes over the bottom. Pour on a third of the milk mixture. Top with a 1/4 c. of parmesan. Do this until you have 3 layers of potatoes and have used all the milk. Dot the top with more butter and use all the leftover parmesan cheese to top. Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden and bubbly all over. Allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

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