One could argue, there is apron for a reason, but my occasional bouts of intense cooking are fuelled by carrying those stains, spices and aromas like a badge of reminder of the end result and often times inspire food with 'connected flavours'. Let me explain; they say sniffing coffee clears your nostrils to distinguish between flavours, in which I think spices and the aromas seem to connect flavours. Laces of floral and citrusy mace and headiness of nutmeg, always drive my senses to apple and orange pudding Ammi makes, which in essence has no jaiphal (nutmeg) or javitri (mace). Nor, Ammi would ever approve of such an addition I reckon.
As the woody earthy cumin seeds hit the sizzling ghee, blistering with pride and realising the aromas of soil freshly drenched in rain, I'm reminded of starchy crispy skinned potatoes. It is then matter of minutes, I get a pot of water simmering away with the potatoes. By the time I stir the chicken laced in cumin and garlic the final time, a side of smashed potatoes are sizzling up in the another pan, I can hear it sing, to the rhythm of my stirring.
Smashed Thyme Potatoes With Toum (Garlic and lemon sauce)
This is extremely addictive side dish which might be perfect for Thanksgiving if you looking for something different. Sweet saffron hued sweet potato might be a good alternative too. While thyme is perfect, feel free to experiment with other herbs. Zaatar and rosemary with potatoes is another no fail option!
The garlic and lemon sauce is essentially toum a popular sauce from Middle East. It's liberally used through out the region as a dip, condiment or sauce. Make extra, you won't regret.
500g baby potatoes
5 sprigs of thyme
2 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
5 cloves of garlic, ground to paste
2 tbsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
Prepare the toum first. Mix the lemon juice, salt and garlic paste in a huge bowl. Drizzling a little oil at a time, whisk (hand whisk is best) the mixture until a pale white and fluffy.
Serve with the smashed potatoes.