potatoes for curry

7 Best Potatoes for Curry – Complete Guide

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Potatoes are a cheap and highly versatile ingredient that can add flavor and texture to virtually any type of curry. If you don’t know which type of potato to get for your favorite curry, then don’t worry, we have just the guide for you!

What are the 7 best potatoes for curry? Different types of potatoes offer different features. For example, Yukon gold is an excellent go-to choice because it can hold its shape after it’s cooked. You can also go with russets, red potatoes, baby potatoes, fingerlings, purple potatoes, and even rooster potatoes.

Read below to learn how you can use each of these types of potatoes in curries and their various characteristics!

Curries and Potatoes – A Perfect Match

Curry is the crown jewel of South Indian Cuisine. In simple terms, curry is a thick or thin sauce that is spiced with curry powder.

Almost every curry is made from a mixture of vegetables and protein along with an array of Indian spices. The result is a flavorful sauce that can be used and enjoyed with plain rice or a side of flatbread (naan).

There are many types of curries and anyone can make their own version of curry using a wide range of ingredients. 

For example, a simple curry can be made by frying meat with onions and then adding coconut milk, ground spices, and herbs to make a delicious mixture that is both spicy and savory. You can also create a different variation of the same curry by substituting coconut milk with tomato puree. 

Curry is served fresh and is best enjoyed with plain basmati rice. You can also enjoy curries with naan or even plain bread if you want to keep it simple.

Curries have been an integral part of many cuisines found in Asia and their use goes back centuries, if not millennia! It is believed that curries were one of the first complex dishes that people created due to the simplicity of their ingredients.  

The defining trait of curry is that it usually contains a combination of meat and veggies – and it’s thickened using any type of liquid; yes, this includes plain water too. Curries can be made using yogurt, milk, coconut milk, purees, and much more!

Most curries also have one ingredient in common: potatoes.

Potatoes can help thicken any curry and are an excellent way to add nutrition, volume, and flavor. Potatoes alone can create countless types of vegetarian curries, each with its own unique flavor and texture – and you can even switch up the type of potato to give curries a varying mouthfeel too!

Before we get into the types of potatoes, let’s discuss the characteristic of curries made using potatoes.

Characteristics of Curry made with Potatoes

Here are the most common characteristics of curries made using potatoes.

Texture

Potatoes come in several varieties but almost all of them have a waxy and tender texture when cooked. Their soft and creamy texture is used to add a contrasting mouthfeel to the sauce. 

For example, Aloo Gobi, a popular curry in Indian cuisine, is popularly made with potatoes and cauliflower. This curry is spiced using turmeric, chili powder, cumin, coriander, and ginger. The potatoes in this curry retain their shape and are not mashed.

In comparison to Aloo Gobi, some curry recipes can also call for mashed potatoes, like Bombay Potatoes curry. This curry uses mashed potatoes that are fried and spiced using ground Indian spices! 

The texture in both types of curries is almost the same but there are a few key differences. Curries made using mashed potatoes have a thicker and more dry texture while curries made using halved potatoes are usually accompanied by a thick sauce.

Flavor

As we have already established above, curries can be flavored using an array of Indian spices. The beauty of curries is that they can be customized in any way and can fit the palette of any type of foodie. 

If you want a spicy curry then you can turn up the spice level and go for a more concentrated sauce – and if you like a mild but tasty curry then you can go with a range of yogurt-based or coconut milk curries.

Potato curries are unique because they provide a variety of flavors – and the ability of potatoes to soak up flavors is also one of the reasons why they are a big hit in almost any type of curry! Potatoes can be used as it is, or they can also be fried or roasted before they are cooked in a thick sauce. 

Frying or roasting potatoes before adding them to the curry adds a subtle layer of caramelization that can enhance the overall flavor profile of any curry. You can also use simple boiled potatoes in curries for a milder and more balanced flavor. 

Uses

Curries are usually served as a main dish in Indian cuisine but they can also be used as a side dish. Many people like to use curry on the side for rice dishes but you can also add potatoes to curries and turn them into a main course!

There is no fixed way of enjoying curry as it can be poured over food or be enjoyed on its own but most people like to eat it with a side of rice or any type of Indian flatbread. 

Some types of curries can also be used as a dish for many extravagant main course meals like Biryani, which uses a curry called Qorma. You can even add potatoes to Qorma and layer it with rice to make a spicy and hearty Bombay Biryani which is prized for its inclusion of potatoes.

The Best Potatoes for Curry

Now that you know what curry is and how potatoes can be used to accentuate its flavor and texture, it’s time to dive deeper and look at the types of potatoes that you can use to give your favorite curry a boost!

1. Yukon Gold

Yukon Gold can be considered to be the default choice for curries. This type of potato offers a creamy and waxy texture that can add volume and flavor to any curry.

yukon gold potatoes

Yukon Gold is particularly special because it can also retain its shape after it’s cooked which is preferred in many curries like Aloo Gobi, Pea Curry, Chickpea curry, and more.

Yukon Gold also has a beautiful golden yellow color that can add presentation to curries as well! While they aren’t usually mashed, they can also be used to thicken curry sauce to add a heartier mouthfeel to several meat-based and vegan curries. 

2. Baby Potatoes 

Baby potatoes are an excellent choice for curries that require small, whole potatoes. Popular curry dishes like Dum Aloo use baby potatoes because they fry well and can retain their shape even after they are cooked. 

baby potatoes

These potatoes have a thin skin which makes them super easy to prepare in multiple ways. They also have a slightly sweeter flavor profile which means that you can use them in several spicy curries to add a balance of flavor and texture. Check out below for a quick recipe for Dum Aloo with baby potatoes! 

3. Russet Potatoes 

Russet potatoes are great for curries that require a starchy potato. This type of potato can be used to make many curries that feature mashed potatoes. Their mild flavor makes them a fantastic choice for highlighting the spicy flavor of curries. 

russet potatoes

The best thing about russet potatoes is that despite their high starch content, they still provide a creamy and tender mouth feel which works extremely well with rice and flatbread. If you don’t want to mash them, then you can also use halved russet potatoes in various types of curries. 

4. Fingerling Potatoes

Fingerling potatoes may be known for their oblong shape but they can be indispensable in several types of curries. Due to their balanced starch content, these potatoes can be fried, roasted, or boiled which makes them a highly versatile ingredient! 

fingerling potatoes

Try substituting any type of potato with fingerlings to add a delicious nutty flavor – you will also get bonus points for using whole fingerling potatoes which can add a lot of presentation to your favorite curries!

5. Red Potatoes

If you enjoy hot curries but need something to quell their sharp spicy flavor then we highly recommend that you use red potatoes. Red potatoes can hold their shape after they are cooked and they also offer a subtly sweet flavor that can pair well with any type of spicy curry. 

red potatoes

You can even use red potatoes for mildly spicy curry dishes too. For example, they can be added to a coconut milk or yogurt-based curry to add a delicious texture and flavor. 

Red potatoes provide the best texture when they are roasted which is why we recommend that you lightly roast them until their outer skin is crispy and mildly flaky. Add them to your favorite curries to take them to the next level!

6. Rooster Potatoes

Rooster potatoes are like red potatoes but they have a dark red exterior skin with golden flesh. They are one of the most versatile types of potatoes because of their balanced texture and flavor. They can be added to any type of curry to add volume, texture, and a subtle nutty flavor. 

rooster potatoes

They can also be mashed and used as a thickener for any type of curry. Rooster potatoes can be fried, roasted, and boiled. Their buttery texture can be used to accentuate the flavor of the spices and provide a balanced mouthfeel, especially when they are paired with plain basmati rice.

7. Purple Potatoes 

Purple potatoes may seem like a novelty but if you are bored of using regular potatoes for curries then we highly recommend that you use purple potatoes to step up your curry game! These potatoes are not used in mainstream curry recipes but there is a lot that you can do with them.

purple potatoes

Purple potatoes have a deep purple color and light purple flesh. They are tender when cooked and provide a sweet, nutty, and earthy flavor. Their characteristics make them the perfect substitute for curries that require a sweeter flavor.

You can even make several Thai-inspired curry dishes with these potatoes too. Try substituting them in curry dishes that require sweet potatoes to add presentation, flavor, and texture! 

Popular Curry Dishes

Here are two great curry recipes that use different types of potatoes: 

Ingredients:

Dum Aloo (Slow Cooked Baby Potatoes)

Dum Aloo
  • Oil 1 cup or as required 
  • Baby potatoes 750gm (Potatoes are parboiled with ½ tsp salt) 
  • Oil ¼ cup 
  • Cinnamon sticks 1-2 
  • Cardamom 3-4 
  • Cloves 6-7 
  • Bay leaf 1 
  • Yogurt Fresh 1 & ½ Cups 
  • Kashmiri red chili powder 2 tsp 
  • Ginger powder 1 tsp 
  • Fennel seeds roasted & ground 2 tsp 
  • Cumin Roasted & crushed 1 tsp 
  • Turmeric powder ¼ tsp 
  • Salt 1 tsp or to taste 
  • Coriander powder 1 tsp 
  • Water 2 cups or as required 
  • Caraway seeds ½ tsp 
  • Sugar 1 tsp 
  • Whole spice powder ½ tsp 
  • Fresh coriander chopped 2 tbs

Instructions:

Step 1: Peel and prick the baby potatoes using a fork.

Step 2: Add oil to a wok and fry the potatoes until they turn golden brown on every side. Remove from oil and set aside.

Step 3: Take out the excess oil from the pot and then fry the whole spices and bay leaf until fragrant. This should take around 1 minute.

Step 4: In a bowl, add yogurt and all the ground spices. Mix well.

Step 5: Add the spiced yogurt mixture to the hot oil with the whole spices and cook until the oil separates.

Step 6: Add the potatoes back and top with water and caraway seeds. Cover and cook for about 15- 22 minutes or until the potatoes are done.  

Step 7: Add sugar, ground whole spice, and coriander as a garnish. Cook for 1-2 minutes and serve! 

Aloo Gobi (Russet Potatoes and Cauliflower Curry)

Aloo Gobi

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup neutral oil 
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds 
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped 
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed 
  • 3/4-1 inch piece ginger, crushed 
  • 2-3 small tomatoes, finely chopped 
  • 2 tsp coriander powder 
  • 1 tsp cumin powder 
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder 
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red chili powder, or to taste 
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper 
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, cut into small florets 
  • 2 small russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 small green chili pepper, sliced or chopped 
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala 
  • 1 tsp lemon or lime juice, or to taste 
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves

Instructions:

Step 1: Heat oil using medium flame and add cumin seeds. Cook until fragrant – this should take a few seconds. Now add the chopped onion and sauté until golden.

Step 2: Add ginger-garlic and mix well for about 15-30 seconds. Then add tomatoes and the ground spices. Mix and cook until the tomatoes are soft and the oil separates.

Step 3: Now add the potatoes and cauliflower. Stir well and then top with green chili. Sauté all the ingredients for 3-4 minutes.

Step 4: Turn down the heat and cover the pot. Let the ingredients cook for about 20 minutes. You can stir occasionally. 

Step 5: When the potatoes and cauliflower are tender, turn off the heat. Add garam masala, lemon juice, and salt to taste. Mix well and garnish with chopped cilantro. Dish out and serve with rice or naan!

Related Questions 

Can You Substitute Any Type of Potato in Curry Recipes?

Yes, you can use virtually any type of potato in any curry recipe. But please keep in mind that some recipes call for small potatoes or high-starch potatoes to thicken the curry sauce. If you don’t have the required potatoes then you can substitute them with any type – but for the best experience stick with the recipe requirements!

Can You Use Store-Bought Chopped Frozen Potatoes?

Yes, you can make several types of curries using pre-cut and frozen potatoes. We recommend using fresh potatoes as they provide the best texture but if you want to save time then you can go ahead with any type of frozen potato.  

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