Island potatoes (baby potatoes with coconut flakes and yellow spices)
The days are definitely getting shorter. It is barely 5:00 pm and already dark outside. A little frustrating if you want to photograph food under natural light as there is none. The view from our rooftop abode is quite spectacular though. The little bit of silver in the sky is reflected in the lake, forming two silver strips with the dark mountains in between and wild looking clouds here and there. Can’t have everything.
The shorter days and cooler weather call for roasting, baking, hearty dishes and beautiful soups. I am fine with all that. Because I was away so much this season I missed the culinary transition from summer to fall. I usually make seasonal changes in my kitchen slowly, going to the market and mixing the end of summer produce with fall foods and slowly transforming my kitchen and cooking with the season. This year though the farmers’ markets were already closed when I returned and I am back to shopping at local stores that although organic, are not as exciting and seasonal as shopping at farmers markets.
With the jet lag still causing havoc in my sleeping pattern I am often up in the middle of the night wide awake and ready to play (in the kitchen, what were you thinking?). Since my husband is asleep I cannot make kitchen noises so I do the next best thing – read my cookbooks. I often bring books from my travels, especially from other countries. This time I shipped a bunch of cookbooks from Israel by UPS and had a nice new stack of them to get acquainted with when I returned.
I found this recipe in one of these Israeli cookbooks: The Vegetarian Kitchen of Al Hashulhan. I don’t know if the book is available in English but they do have a website under the same name Al Hashulhan that translates to English. They call their recipe roasted potatoes in yellow spices and coconut flakes, which essentially describes what the recipe is. For me it is reminiscent of island potatoes because of the coconut, cumin and turmeric and it is something that would go nicely with south east Asian or Indian food. However, it goes perfectly well with other foods as well or even on their own as a snack.
Use small new white potatoes if you have them. I found a few bags of them at the organic store nearby and grabbed them as they are so nice to roast and serve on their own or with other foods. If your coconut is not fine then pulse it in a food processor a few times to chop it up. It works better than the longer strands of coconut flakes.
The recipe is adapted from The Vegetarian Kitchen of Al Hashulhan.
1 1/2 lb white skinned baby potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Salt and pepper
Line a baking sheet with foil.
Wash and dry the potatoes and slice in half, spread over the foil line baking sheet..
Toss with the olive oil and mix so the potatoes are well coated with the oil.
Sprinkle the cumin and turmeric over and mix to distribute the spices.
Sprinkle the coconut over and gently toss to coat the potatoes with the coconut.
Place in a preheated 400℉ and roast for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are golden and cooked through.