I love what everyone loves about potatoes; they're versatile, satiating, and cheap. There are so many ways to prepare them and each way results in a different flavor or texture. I love roasted potatoes or silky mashed potatoes, but one of my favorite ways to cook them is fried (pan-fried) and having it with sada roti or fried bakes. I grew up eating this dish for breakfast and even dinner. It was a staple for weekend morning meals or if my mom didn't know what to cook during the week.
Simple ingredients; big flavor
What I love about this easy fry potato dish is the simplicity of ingredients. I'm using onion, garlic, pepper, thyme and scallions for this recipe. If all you have are onions, then trust me that is enough. Salt brings the flavors together and for me is the most important ingredient. And don't limit yourself to the ingredients in my recipe. Dried herbs and seasonings work well here. Potatoes will taste like whatever you want them to, so use what you have on hand and make this your own.
Simple technique; big flavor
The other key to making a tasty fry potato is cooking it until the potato sears creating that maillard reaction. When starch sticks to any pan like that West Indians call it bun-bun, the almost burnt part at the bottom of the pan. It's concentrated with much of the seasonings and adds to the overall texture and flavor. To get that flavor, you'll have to scrape the bottom of the pot as the potato cooks and toss it back with the potatoes. Because of this essential part of cooking fry potato, I prefer using a cast iron skillet, stainless steel pan, or a karahi.
Peel potatoes and cut into quarters, vertically. I used large red potatoes for this recipe. Russet potatoes also work well here, but for this dish you can truly use any potato you have on hand, even baby potatoes.
Cut potatoes into ¼ in slices. Cover with cold water to keep from browning while you prepare the other ingredients.
- 5-6 large potatoes (about 2lbs), peeled and chopped
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 wiri wiri peppers or 1 scotch bonnet
- 4-5 thyme sprigs or ½ tsp dried
- 1 tsp salt, more to taste
- black pepper to taste
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 2 stems scallions, finely sliced
- 6 tbsp cooking oil
- Peel potatoes. Cut into quarters vertically. Chop into ¼ inch slices. Cover with cold water.
- Slice onions, mince garlic, and slice scallions, set aside.
- Heat skillet with 6 tbsp cooking oil. Add onions, garlic, wiri wiri pepper, thyme leaves and a pinch of salt. Sauté a few minutes until golden brown.
- Add potatoes and toss. Add salt, black pepper, paprika, and tomato paste. Let potatoes cook 15-20 minutes, but turn frequently, every 4-5 minutes to prevent potatoes from burning. Scrape the bottom of the pot with pot spoon to get the brown bits and toss back in with potatoes.
- When potatoes are completely cooked, garnish with scallions.
Use a skillet or pot with enough surface space to keep potatoes moving around. Keep heat at medium to prevent potatoes from burning before insides cook. Feel free to use dried seasonings and herbs.