This is another side from Meera Sodha's Made In India. I feel like India gets forgotten when Americans learn about other cultures, which is a huge loss because it's a country with so many complex, amazing cultures and such a long history. Learning about Indian food is exciting for me, because it's so much more than most non-Indian Americans suspect.
Meera writes, "'Ferar' means 'to fast' by abstaining from certain foods, which a lot of Gujarati Hindus do on designated days throughout the year. Peanuts and potatoes are some of the things which can be eaten on a fast day, hence the creation of Ferrari."
I personally like that this dish can also be eaten by Catholics on Fridays, because this dish was so much more than I thought it would be. It's fast, easy, and its wonderfully flavorful and spiced.
2 oz peanuts, unsalted and unroasted
20 peppercorns (1/2 teaspoon)
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
14 oz new potatoes, chopped into 1 1/4 inch cubes
1 fresh green chili, very finely chopped*
1 3/4 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 oz cilantro, chopped
*I used a jalapeno. I seeded mine because I'm a wimp. This did not make the dish bland, so if you're worried about too much heat, you should have no compunctions about seeding it.
Coarsely grind the peanuts using a food processor or mortar and pestle, remove, and set to one side, then grind the peppercorns in the same way.
Put the oil into a wide-bottomed frying pan on a medium heat. When it's hot, add the ground peppercorns and cumin seeds and, a minute later, the potatoes.
Stir-fry the potatoes for around 12 minutes, until they start to brown. Spear them with a knife to see if they're done (they will slide off easily if they are, and, if so, add the green chili, ginger, and salt. Continue to cook for another 5-6 minutes to cook the ginger and brown the potatoes.
When the potatoes are nicely brown, check the seasoning and transfer to a serving bowl. Scatter over the peanuts, add the cilantro, and squeeze over the lemon before serving.