This baby potato and fenugreek stir fry makes a great filling for a pita bread sandwich. (Reshma Seetharam)

This baby potato and fenugreek stir fry makes a great filling for a pita bread sandwich. (Reshma Seetharam)

Make your own luck with battered, fried mashed potato ‘coins’

Whether it’s a salad, stir fry or a gold coin, these recipes are perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.

With St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, I was inspired to make a variety of potato-based dishes.

Whether it’s a salad, stir fry or a gold coin, these vegetarian recipes feature the colors of the Irish holiday: orange, yellow and green.

My favorite recipe in this collection is the gold coin — how perfect is that? — that my mom would make for my sister and I when we were growing up. It was a special meal for Sunday brunch.

It’s bread cut into the shape of a coin, stuffed with mashed potatoes, then battered and fried into golden goodness. The coin is then topped with colorful veggies, cilantro and crunchy golden lentil crisps. (You can buy the crisps at any Indian store.)

If you can’t find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, I encourage you to feast on some of mine.

Potato, beet and carrot salad

This colorful salad made with potatoes, beets, carrots and peas is served with a vinaigrette dressing.

2 cups white potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 cups carrots, peeled and cubed

2 cups beets, peeled and cubed

1 cup fresh or frozen peas

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ teaspoon minced garlic

For the vinaigrette dressing:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 pinch cayenne pepper

In a pan on high heat, add olive oil and minced garlic; saute for just a few seconds, then add in the potatoes, carrots and peas. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add salt, pepper and cayenne, stir to combine.

Sprinkle just a little water, to prevent the potatoes from sticking to the pan. The steam also allows the potatoes to cook through.

Reduce and cook covered for 3 more minutes. When the potatoes start to brown, place them in a bowl.

In the same pan, add the beets. Toss and season. In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the vinaigrette dressing.

Add the beets to the bowl of potatoes and toss. Allow the salad to cool in an ice bath or refrigerate it for 30 to 45 minutes. Pour in the dressing. Stir to combine, and adjust salt and pepper. Chill before serving. Makes 4 servings.

Corn and potato curry

This is a lightly spiced potato curry with corn. It is served with bread and garnished with lime juice and cilantro.

½ teaspoon ghee or oil

½ teaspoon mustard

½ teaspoon cumin

2-3 curry leaves

2 cups onion, cut into chunks

1 cup tomatoes, diced

3 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 cup fresh or frozen corn

1 whole green chili, slit

1 pinch turmeric powder

4 sprigs fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1 teaspoon lime juice

Salt to taste

To temper: In a sauce pan or small cooker on medium heat, add ghee. When it begins to smoke, add the mustard, cumin, curry leaves and cover.

When the splattering subsides, toss in the onions and saute until transparent. Add the tomatoes and potatoes. After a minute or so, add in the powders and salt, followed by the corn and green chili.

Cook covered for about 8 to 10 minutes on medium heat or pressure cook it. Add the lime juice and garnish with cilantro. Serve with bread. Makes 3 to 4 servings.

Potato, pepper and peas stir fry

This is a healthy stir fry made with potatoes, bell peppers and peas. I usually serve this as a side dish at dinner. If there are leftovers, I wrap it into tortilla rolls for lunch the next day.

1 cup red potatoes, diced with skin on

2 cup colored bell peppers (orange, green or yellow)

1 cup peas

¼ teaspoon red chili or cayenne pepper powder

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

1 pinch brown sugar

1 sprig curry leaves

¼ teaspoon mustard seeds

¼ teaspoon cumin seeds

Juice of ½ lime

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped

Heat a shallow skillet on medium high, add oil. When it starts to shimmer, add the mustard and cumin seeds. Toss in the curry leaves and let them splatter. Add in the diced potatoes and roast on medium heat until they turn a light brown. It should take about 4 to 5 minutes.

Toss in the peas and colored bell peppers. Cook for another 3 minutes, until they are a little soft, yet crunchy. Sprinkle a few drops of water into the skillet, just enough to moisten the roasted vegetables.

Add in the powders and salt. Toss them all together. Turn off the heat and pour in the lime juice, mixing well to incorporate the juice. Serve with your choice of flat bread. Makes 4 servings or 6 wraps.

Sprouts and potato stir fry

This is a yummy vegetarian stir fry that transforms into a nice salad when paired with plain or Greek yogurt.

2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced

2 cups bean sprouts

½ cup onions, finely chopped

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

½ cup cilantro, finely chopped

1 green chili, split in half

¼ teaspoon cumin seeds

¼ teaspoon mustard seeds

¼ teaspoon chili powder

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

¼ teaspoon garam masala powder

¼ teaspoon pepper powder

½ teaspoon salt

In a pan on medium heat, add oil. When it begins to smoke, add mustard and cumin seeds. Let it splutter. Add green chili and onions, saute for 30 seconds. Add potatoes and saute on high for 5 to 6 minutes. Toss in bean sprouts and saute for another 3 minutes. Sprinkle in the powders and salt. Saute for a few more minutes and turn off the heat. Add cilantro and stir to combine.

Serve as a side dish at dinner or add some yogurt and eat it for lunch.

Gold coin

Make a gold coin for St. Patrick’s Day. It’s bread cut into the shape of a coin, covered with mashed potatoes, battered and fried into golden goodness. The coin is topped with colorful veggies, cilantro and crunchy golden lentil crisps.

12 slices white or whole-wheat bread

For the potato filling:

4 medium potatoes

1 pinch turmeric powder

½ teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon salt

Juice of ½ lime

For the batter:

1 cup white or whole-wheat flour

2 cups cold water plus 2-3 teaspoons

1 pinch salt

4 cups vegetable or canola oil

For the garnish:

1 cup ketchup

2 cups finely diced onion

2 cups diced tomatoes

1 cup finely chopped cilantro

2 cups of crunchy lentil crisps

Boil, peel and mash the potatoes with turmeric, chili powder, salt and lime juice. Makes about 2 cups mashed potatoes. Divide the mashed potatoes equally into 12 round portions. Set aside.

Prepare the dipping batter by combining flour, salt and cold water in a large shallow bowl. Stir well using an egg beater until the batter is smooth without lumps. Set aside.

Place a deep fry pan on the stove and pour in the oil. Let it warm up on medium heat. While it heats up, prep the bread.

Using a cookie cutter, cut the bread slices into large circles, removing the crumbs, so that they resemble coins. Place a mashed potato round on one side of the bread and gently spread it to cover. Repeat to cover all the 12 slices.

Check to see if the oil is ready to use by pouring a few drops of the batter into it. If the batter sizzles up right away, you are good to start deep frying. Dip the covered bread in the batter and immerse it completely so the entire bread is covered in batter. Gently slide the bread into the fryer, immersing the mashed-potato side face-down so it hits the oil first.

Let each coin cook for about 2 minutes, flipping them over when they are golden brown. Once both sides are golden, place each coin on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.

Flip the mashed potato side to the top and start garnishing. Spread a spoon of ketchup on the top. Sprinkle a little onion, tomato and cilantro. Lastly, top it off with a generous serving of lentil crisps. Serve warm. Makes 12 gold coins.

Baby potato and fenugreek stir fry

This stir fry of baby potatoes in spices makes a great pita bread filling or wrap. It also can be eaten as a cold salad with Greek or plain yogurt.

4 cups baby potatoes, halved

2 cups red onion, cut into chunks

2-3 fresh fenugreek leaves, chopped

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

¼ teaspoon garam masala powder

¼ teaspoon dried mango powder

1 tablepsoon olive oil

Salt to taste

Add oil to a wok or large saute pan on medium heat. As it begins to smoke, arrange all the baby potatoes flat-side down. Roast the potatoes for 4 to 6 minutes. Toss to roast the other side.

Clear the center to form a pit, add a few drops of olive oil, sprinkle cumin seeds and let it splutter. Next add all the powders and salt. Saute for a few minutes. Add the chopped fenugreek leaves and onions, saute on high for just 3 to 4 minutes.

Turn off the heat. Cover and let it sit for a few minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Reshma Seetharam’s blog, My Foodarama, can be found at

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