Instead of buying the ready to roast potato wedges in a bag at the supermarket it is really easy to make them at home, using fresh potatoes from the homestead. You also know there are no hidden additives and are not adding to the plastic epidemic!
The best potatoes for wedges are Yukon Gold and Russets, but try out whatever type you have grown on the homestead and see how they turn out. Always cook more than you think the family will eat, as they tend to disappear fast.
Wedges are great as a vegetarian lunch, afternoon snack for the kids to enjoy when they get back from school or as an accompaniment to a meal. They are a popular bar food world wide.
This recipe calls for cumin – you can use ready-made ground cumin but I find it tastier to dry roast the cumin seeds in a skillet for a few minutes on medium heat until the fragrance releases, then grind them in a mortar and pestle before using.
The recipe also calls for leaf masala which you can get at Indian spice shops or a garam masala will do – masala is aromatic but not hot like chili powder, made of ground up dried chilies, designed to give food the traditional heat and kick of chili.
If you can’t find any type of masal, then you can use paprika instead but the wedges won’t have the depth of flavor the masala provides.
Leaf masala will contain essential spices used in Indian cooking like cloves, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, allspice/pimento, turmeric, star anise, fennel, a little chili powder, mace – the outer husk of nutmeg, bay leaves, and curry leaves, all ground into the spice mix.
The purpose of adding leaf masala spices is not to achieve an overwhelming curry flavor but rather a nice aromatic coating for your potato wedges.
If you use garam masala remember that it usually contains cinnamon, mace, cardamom pods, cloves, cumin, coriander, dried ground curry leaves, as well as black and white peppercorns, so you may want to use a little less black pepper.
You can always grind on more black pepper once the wedges are done if you feel they need it.
The aromatic leaves of Murraya koenigii, known as the curry leaf tree obtained its name because it is added to various curries, and is also referred to known as Kadi Patta or sweet neem.
It is native to India but will grow in tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world, and is prized for the extra flavor it gives to spice mixes.
- 6 large potatoes (peeled and cut into chunky wedges – you can also leave them unpeeled)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin or cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoons leaf masala
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees C)
- Slip your baking tray, spread with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, into the hot oven and allow to heat while you prepare the wedges. You can line the tray with parchment paper before adding the oil to allow for easier clean up afterwards.
- Into a large bowl pour the remainder of the olive oil, the cumin, salt, pepper and leaf masala, mixing with a spoon so the spices are evenly distributed through the oil.
- Add the chunky wedges to the bowl and gently toss until they are evenly coated.
- Take hot tray out of the oven carefully and spread the wedges in a layer on the sheet.
- Bake for around 30 minutes – you may want to turn them once to make sure they are brown on both sides.
- When pierced with a fork they should be soft on the inside and crispy outside.
- While you are waiting for the wedges to finish cooking mix the chopped coriander into the crème fraîche or Mexican crema.
- Remove wedges from oven, arrange on a platter, and serve with a bowl of crème fraîche for dipping, or a small jug with the Mexican crema so people can drizzle some over the wedges.
- Sit back and watch them disappear.
Serving Potato Wedges with Crème Fraiche
The wedges can be served with crème fraiche that can be bought ready made, or you can make your own.
It is very easy: combine 1 cup of heavy cream and 1 tablespoon of buttermilk and leave out at room temperature for 12 hours so the good bacteria of the buttermilk react with the cream and form a thick mix for a French style crème fraiche dipping sauce, or reduce the buttermilk to ½ tablespoon for a lighter type of Mexican crema to drizzle over the potatoes just before serving.
You can make the crème fraiche in advance and simply put it in the refrigerator to stop the bacterial action progressing further after the 12-hour developing period, and take it out when you need to use it. It will last for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
As a child I wanted to grow up and marry a farmer… simply because it was so different from my life right on the shores of the ocean. Well, I didn’t marry a farmer but a surfer instead. The urge, however, to grow stuff and make great food for a big family never left. We are on acreage with a sea view and easy access to fresh caught crayfish and other seafood – the best of both worlds. As an artist and writer I enjoy creating new recipes, tweaking traditional ones, and sharing the results not only with family and friends, but online.