Potatoes with Whole Spices

One of those recipes. It’s here, there, and everywhere … aye, and here too.

Heresy alert – with a couple of soft-yolked fried eggs on top, Nigella Lawson‘s recipe beats a good old “English breakfast” fry-up almost any day.

One of the very few things that really is best made in a non-stick pan with a lid; it allows you to catch the savoury, crispy brown bits that stick so infuriatingly firmly to any other pan. I don’t have such a pan – but it doesn’t stop me.

[A wee note – this was my introduction to Panch Poran, a simple and satisfying Bengali Five-Spice mix.]

Ingredients – for four servings

  • About 1kg/2lbs potatoes
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp each of
    • ground turmeric
    • red chilli powder/flakes
    • fenugreek seeds
    • nigella (kalonji) seeds
    • mustard seeds
    • cumin seeds
    • fennel seeds
  • Salt
  • Bunch of fresh coriander leaves (or flat-leaved parsley)


  • Peel the potatoes (if you must); slice and dice into 1cm cubes.
  • Pop into a non-stick (by preference) wok/pan with the oil. Fry on a high heat briefly, then turn heat right down and cover pan with its lid. Turn occasionally.
  • When potatoes are about half done (after about 10 minutes), add the spices and stir through to combine; replace the lid and continue cooking.
  • Watch the potatoes don’t overcook and become too soft – when they are almost ready, remove the lid and raise the heat to remove any excess juices.
  • Garnish with the chopped coriander (or parsley) leaves, pile on plates, and top with a perfectly fried, golden-yolked egg – perfectly hot pan for slightly crisp edges and gloriously soft and runny yolk.

Breakfast bliss.

Or … adapt?

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