Potato curry with yogurt (by Ghillie Basan)

Potato curry with yogurt (by Ghillie Basan)





Indian, Indonesian




Vegetarian, Low Fat

Making this recipe


  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 25g/1oz fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ghee, or vegetable oil with a little butter
  • 6 shallots, peeled, halved lengthways, and sliced with the grain
  • 2 green chillies, stalks and seeds removed, and finely sliced
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • a handful of fresh, or dried, curry leaves
  • 2 short cinnamon sticks
  • 1-2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 500g/1lb 2oz waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled, deseeded, and cut into quarters
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 250ml/9fl oz thick, strained plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • a small bunch fresh coriander and mint, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, cut into quarters

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This recipe is from internationally acclaimed cook and food writer Ghillie Basan who has very kindly allowed us to share this with you on our website. As well as the author of numerous cookery books, Ghillie runs innovative and inspiring, hands-on cookery workshops from where she lives in a remote outpost of the Scottish highlands – find out more about Ghillie, her books and workshops.

Generally, the Malays and Indians serve this dish with a meat curry and rice, but it also delicious on its own, served with yogurt and a spicy pickle or chutney. A dry version of this curry, without the yogurt, is used as a filling for some of the tasty flat breads and savoury pastries sold at the hawker stalls in Singapore.

Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and ginger to a coarse paste. Heat the ghee in a heavy-based pan and stir in the shallots and chillies, until fragrant. Add the garlic and ginger paste with the sugar, and stir until the mixture begins to colour. Stir in the curry leaves, cinnamon sticks, turmeric and garam masala, and toss in the potatoes, making sure they are coated in the spice mixture. Pour in just enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring it to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are just cooked – they should still have a bite to them.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss in the tomatoes to heat them through. Fold in the yogurt, so that it is streaky, rather than completely mixed in. Sprinkle with the chilli powder, coriander and mint. Serve immediately from the pan, with lemon to squeeze over it and flat bread for scooping it up.