Time-Crunched Tamarind Potatoes

I’ll tell you one thing. I don’t like cooking in a rush. This evening, Michael and Elizabeth came over for dinner before the four of us went to see The Darjeeling Limited at the Moolah Theatre. I was generally pleased with how the dishes turned out, but was once again flailing around in the kitchen. I ended up flinging things into frying pans and onto the plates in a very unzenlike manner. The mindfulness went right out the window, and the chi ended up all over the floor.

To go with the tamarind potatoes, Gabriel fried up some turkey bacon, and I made a salad of pomegranate berries (arils), chopped green apples, chopped pan-roasted figs, and maché. I was more than happy to plop down on the couch at the movie theatre…

Tamarind Potatoes


  • 1 pound red potatoes, peeled and left whole (I used sweet potatoes)
  • 3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped (I used banana peppers because we were out of jalapeños)
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind pulp
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, preferably raw or brown
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish


  • Boil the potatoes in a large saucepan until fork-tender.
  • Drain and set aside to cool. Once cool enough to handle, chop the potatoes into quarters and set aside.
  • Heat the butter or oil in a large skillet.
  • Add the mustard seeds and sauté until browned.
  • Now, add the chopped jalapeño, the tamarind, and the sugar.
  • Simmer gently until the tamarind produces a thick sauce.
  • Add the potatoes and continue to cook until the mixture is thoroughly heated. You may have to add a little water it the mixture seems too thick.
  • Salt to taste and garnish with the cilantro leaves before serving.

Three Bowl Cookbook: The Secrets of Enlightened Cooking from the Zen MountainScott, David, and Tom Pappas. Three Bowl Cookbook: The Secrets of Enlightened Cooking from the Zen Mountain London: Carroll & Brown Limited, 2000: pg. 64.

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