Tuesday, August 14, 2012

RecipeOfTheDay: Indian-Spiced "Tater" Tots

I love to eat. That has never been something I debated, but I DO want to eat healthier and as I get older, I am also trying to get "fitter" and eat well. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is more important to me than ever, and it's not just about being fit and looking great. It's about feeling fit and feeling great.

I love to snack, and during downtime, or watching movies, that is something I like to do. I like the social aspect of eating with friends or family. Here is a GREAT recipe I found for tater tots that are good, and can easily be translated for healthier versions!


  • 1 1/4 pounds russet potatoes (about 2 medium), cleaned and washed
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1 1/2 to 2 cups canola oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon panch phoron, finely ground in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (if you have to buy it in powdered form. IF you have fresh tumeric, or tumeric you freeze and use, then freshly grated is the best...)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I use 2 "pinches", as I don't absolutely love the bite that cayenne gives)
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt, plus more as needed
  • Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce, for dipping
  1. Heat the oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place the potatoes in the oven and bake until easily pierced with a knife but still firm in the center, about 35 to 40 minutes. (If you have 3 smaller potatoes, cook them about 25 to 30 minutes.) Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the panch phoron, turmeric, and cayenne and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle but still hot, peel away the skin using a paring knife and discard. Shred the potatoes on the large holes of a box grater. Transfer the potatoes to a large bowl, sprinkle in the flour, salt, and cooled spice mix and stir gently until combined.
  3. Measure 1 teaspoon of the potato mixture and roll into a short cylinder about 1 1/2 inches long and 3/4 inch wide. Place on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining potato mixture until you have used all if it and made the tots.
  4. Line a second baking sheet with paper towels; set aside. Add enough of the remaining oil to a large frying pan to reach about 1/4 inch up the sides and set over medium-high heat until hot, about 5 minutes. Check to see if the oil is hot by submerging the handle of a wooden spoon or wooden chopstick till it touches the bottom of the pan—the oil should bubble vigorously. When it’s ready, fry the tots in batches of 8 to 10 pieces (do NOT overcrowd the pan), turning once, until medium golden brown on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the paper-towel-lined baking sheet and season with salt. Serve immediately with cucumber-yogurt sauce. (NOTE: If you have a "Fry Daddy", it's okay to use that, OR - to be healthier, I have a kitchen machine that "fries" things in a vacuum and uses only spoonfuls of oil, rather than cupfuls. It's a much healther, if more expensive and involved, alternative for "frying" food for snacking. If you go that route, you save TONS on calories and oil consumption.)
  5. To freeze, let the fried tots cool, then transfer to an airtight container or zip-top bag. Arrange in a single layer and place in the freezer. To reheat, heat the oven to 400°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Evenly spread the tots in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake until hot, about 15 minutes

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