The world needs more killer sides for tandoori chicken. I think anyway. And I think this is one of them. Indianish curried potato salad.
Flavour loaded potatoes. Hard-boiled eggs. Red onion. Spice. All wrapped up in a creamy mayo yoghurt dressing.
Who doesn’t like a good potato salad? With grilled chicken? It’s a natural. Classic backyard BBQ menu. Real comfort food.
But when it’s tandoori chicken? The potato salad needs to step up. Big time. And this one does. Like it was designed for it.
Because it was. Literally. I sat down to come up with things to serve with tandoori chicken. And I came up with this.
East meets west – for real
This is a riff on western potato salad. I took my classic potato salad and re-imagined it through an Indian lens.
That’s what Indianish is all about. Not fusion. Food re-imagined. Familiar food. WIth the kiss of Indian flavours.
Potatoes. Eggs. Mayo. Red onion. All the classic ingredients. For awesome potato salad.
Yoghurt replaces sour cream. Lemon and tamarind instead of pickle juice. Curry powder. Or mix powder. If you like. But spice either way.
And chaat masala. That’s a big one.
Chaat masala pushes curried potato salad deeper into Indian territory
Not all potato salads are created equal. And not all curried potato salads are either. There are lots of recipes out there.
Mostly it’s about adding some curry powder. That isn’t bad. Truth be told that’s actually pretty good. Curry powder and mayonnaise are good solid Indianish flavours.
But this is glebekitchen. So it has to be better. There has to be a twist. And that twist is chaat masala.
Never heard of chaat masala? Not really surprising. That’s digging pretty deep into Indian flavours.
It’s a spice blend. That’s what masala means. A masala is a mix of spices. It’s the first word that defines what.
Tandoori masala. Garam masala. Chaat masala. See where this is going?
Chaat masala is made for curried potato salad. Because it has a secret ingredient. I love secret ingredients.
Kala namak makes this one special
Kala namak. If you haven’t heard of chaat masala I’m guessing that’s a new one too. Black salt. Super distinctive. It’s salt. But with impurities. And those impurities make it what it is.
Food science time. The impurity is sodium sulphate. There may be others. But that’s the one at work here.
And sulphates have that smell. You know it. Hard boiled eggs is the nice way of putting it. There are less flattering descriptions.
Doesn’t sound great. I know. Fish sauce doesn’t sound great either. And it’s amazing.
Take a leap with me. Kala namak amplifies the egg flavours in this potato salad. Brings it together. It just works.
Not a very good sales job. I know.
All I can tell you is I like this. A lot. If you like eggs. The smell of eggs. Then this is an ingredient you need to try.
Look for a masala that includes kala namak. Read the ingredients on the box. Because if it doesn’t have kala namak it isn’t chaat masala. For me anyway.
Full disclosure. I love fish sauce too. That stuff is magic in a bottle. Just so you know who you are dealing with here…
On the matter of mayonnaise
Mayonnaise is not an Indian ingredient. But it is an Indianish ingredient. Totally an Indianish ingredient. It took me a long time to figure that out.
There are funky Indian restaurants where I am. Pushing things a bit. I really like those restaurants. So I go. And I ask questions. Because I’m nosy.
One place has this dip. A red chili dip. For pakoras. Creamy. Spicy. Crazy delicious.
I tried to recreate it at home. For a long time. I knew the flavours but I fell into the yoghurt trap. Creamy must be yoghurt right? It’s Indian after all.
Turns out it is not. It’s a mix. Yoghurt and mayonnaise. Those two ingredients together unlock the most amazing dips.
And the most amazing Indianish curried potato salad. If I do say so myself.
Curried potato salad is… about potatoes
Shocker. I know. Nobody saw that one coming. But it’s more important than you think. The potatoes matter. A lot.
You want a medium starchy potato. Waxy potatoes are not good here. New potatoes are OK. Different. But OK.
Yukon gold are my ideal here. A mashing potato. Not quite as floury as a russet. And just a little bit waxy. So they hold their shape.
You want to season those potatoes. Not with salt and pepper. With a tangy mix of vinegar, lemon juice and yellow mustard. Infused potato goodness.
That may seem a little different. But it’s the backbone of really good potato salad. Layering flavours. It’s always about layering flavours. Around here anyway.
Up your barbecue game?
That’s an impressive backyard BBQ. One that will impress. Maybe not as much as a full blown Texas brisket. But a whole lot less time consuming.
Spicy tandoori chicken. A seriously tasty potato salad. And a tomato cucumber salad or slaw. That’s a great menu.
And there’s nothing difficult here. You can enjoy the party. Instead of worrying. And running around. I call that a win win.
Curried potato salad. A little bit southern. A little bit Indian. A whole lot delicious.
Curried potato salad
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup full fat greek yoghurt
- 4 tsp curry powder – or Indian restaurant mix powder. Just don't use garam masala. Please…
- 1/4 tsp chaat masala – optional (not really. See text above). You can go up to 1/2 tsp if you like chaat masala.
- 1/4 tsp mustard powder
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp tamarind paste – paste is not the same as concentrate
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
Curried potato salad
- 2 lbs yellow flesh potatoes – e.g. Yukon gold
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice – about 1/4 lemon's worth
- 1 tbsp yellow mustard – ballpark mustard aka American mustard
- salt to season
- 3 eggs – large or extra large
- 1/2 red onion – diced
- 1 tbsp chives – minced
- fried shallots to garnish – optional
Perfect hardboiled eggs
- Place eggs in a small saucepan. Cover with cold water by one inch (so the water is one inch above the level of the eggs in the saucepan).
- Bring to a gentle boil. Turn off the heat and cover. Let sit 10 minutes. Set a timer or you'll forget. Seriously…
- When the timer shows about 2 minutes remaining make an ice water bath.
- When the timer goes off (at the 10 minute mark) drain the eggs and lower them gently into the ice water bath to cool completely. A spoon works well for this. Peel and set aside.
Prepare the potatoes
- Boil the potatoes in well salted water until a paring knife (a small sharp knife) slides in without resistance.
- Drain and let cool until you are able to handle them. You want them still warm when you start this.
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into 3/4 to 1 inch dice.
- Spread the potatoes out on a cookie sheet that will fit in your refrigerator.
- Combine 1 tbsp white vinegar with 1 tbsp yellow mustard and the lemon juice.
- Drizzle the potatoes with the vinegar mustard mixture. It doesn't have to be perfect. Just get some on every piece as best you can.
- Season the potatoes with a liberal sprinkling of salt.
- Place the potatoes (still on the cookie sheet) in the refrigerator for one hour.
Make the dressing
- Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Stir thoroughly.
- If you are using the chaat masala taste after adding 1/4 tsp. It should have an "eggy flavour". If you like that flavour and want more add another 1/4 tsp. I like 1/2 tsp. It will mellow a bit when it's mixed into the potato salad.
Make the curried potato salad
- Chop your eggs into 1/4 inch pieces. Dice your red onion. Mince your chives.
- In a bowl large enough to allow you to comfortably toss the ingredients add all the ingredients except the dressing.
- Add half the dressing . Fold gently to start to combine. Add the rest of the dressing and fold until well mixed.
- Refrigerate the dressed salad for one hour before serving.
- Taste. The potato salad may need a bit more salt. I don't know how liberally you salted your potatoes. I don't know how much salt you put into the water to boil the potatoes. And I have no idea what your salt profile is. You will need to decide for yourself. It should be close though.
- Garnish with a little bit of fried shallots if using. You don't want too much here. Just a hint of crunch and flavour. Too much can be overpowering.