Curried potato salad is a variation of the classic potato salad, offering a delightful combination of flavors and textures. Tender, cubed potatoes are tossed with a vibrant yogurt dressing, creating a perfect balance of flavors.
In my recipe, I am infusing the dressing with a curry oil tempering, creating a unique flavor profile. This curry potato salad is a perfect addition to cookouts, barbecues, or any casual gathering.
What is curry potato salad?
Curried potato salad is a variation of traditional potato salad that incorporates aromatic spices into the dressing, giving it a distinctive and flavorful taste. It combines cooked potatoes with a creamy, tangy dressing that is infused with the warm and aromatic flavors of curry. This variation adds a hint of spice and depth to the dish, without overpowering the overall flavor.
This easy-to-make, spicy, creamy potato salad is a great side dish for picnics, barbecues, and cookouts. Curry potato salad pairs very well with grilled meats and sandwiches or can be enjoyed on its own. The creamy texture and subtle spiciness make it a crowd-pleasing vegetarian dish that is sure to impress guests.
I am making a simple curry oil that I use in the dressing to enhance the flavor of the spices. Heating the curry powder in oil helps to awaken its flavors and release its natural oils, resulting in a more robust and pronounced taste.
Why you will love this recipe?
- Flavorful variation: The incorporation of curry oil adds a unique and flavorful twist to the classic potato salad. The warm and aromatic spices elevate the taste profile, making it a unique and memorable dish.
- Easy to make: The curry potato salad recipe is straightforward and easy to follow, requiring minimal cooking time.
- Ideal for cookouts and BBQs: The curried potato salad is a fantastic addition to outdoor gatherings such as cookouts and BBQs.
- Crowd-pleasing: The combination of creamy potatoes and the rich flavors of the curry dressing is a winning combination.
- Make-ahead option: The curried potato salad can be prepared ahead of time, allowing the flavors to develop and meld together even further.
What is curry oil?
In many Indian savory dishes, the preparation begins with a crucial step known as tempering or tadka in Hindi. This process involves heating oil or ghee and frying the spices in it to unlock their flavors. The addition of tempering not only infuses the dish with aromatic spices but also enhances its overall taste. For some dishes, the tempering is also added as a final touch to the dish.
In my curried potato salad recipe, I have incorporated a similar concept by creating a tempering for the dressing. This simple technique takes just 2 minutes and adds an extra layer of depth to the salad. While it is possible to directly incorporate the curry powder into the dressing, taking the time to prepare this easy "tadka" elevates the salad to a whole new level.
To make curry oil:
- Heat a small pan over medium heat and add olive oil.
- Add black mustard seeds to the hot oil and let them splutter. This step adds a subtle nutty flavor and texture to the oil.
- Once the mustard seeds start to splutter, add curry powder and curry leaves to the pan. The curry powder will release its aromatic flavors while the curry leaves contribute a nice fragrance.
- Saute the mixture for about a minute on low heat, stirring continuously. This allows the spices to infuse into the oil and enhances their flavors.
- Turn off the heat and let the tempering cool down slightly before using it. This allows the oil to absorb the flavors of the spices fully.
Step 1: Place the potatoes in a large pot or large saucepan and add cold water to cover them. Add a generous pinch of salt to the water. Place the pot on high heat and bring it to a boil. Simmer and boil for 8-10 minutes until the potatoes are just cooked and fork-tender. Strain the salted water from potatoes using a colander and set them aside so that they can cool down to room temperature.
Step 2: Place a small pan on medium heat and heat one tablespoon of oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Reduce the heat to low and add the curry leaves and curry powder. Saute for one minute so that the curry powder cooks through and releases flavor. Turn off the heat and let the curry oil cool down slightly.
Step 3: In a small bowl, combine together yogurt, curry oil, yellow mustard, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper.
Step 4: Mix all the dressing ingredients well. Place potatoes, celery, red onions, and cilantro in a large bowl.
Step 5: Pour the dressing over the potatoes and veggies.
Step 6: Gently toss everything well taking care not to break the potatoes. Let the salad rest for one hour so that the flavors are absorbed.
Variations of curry potato salad
Here are some variations of this delicious curried potato salad:
Roast the potatoes: You can roast the potatoes instead of boiling them for this curried potato salad. Roasting the potatoes adds a delicious depth of flavor and a slightly crispy texture to the dish.
Vegetable additions: I have added red onions and celery to my recipe. However, other vegetables like diced bell peppers, green onions, peas, corn, and cucumber can also be added. The additional vegetables add texture, flavor, and color to the salad.
Protein element: To make the salad more substantial, add grilled shrimp, hard-boiled eggs, or boiled chickpeas. These additions can transform this curry potato salad into a complete meal.
Creaminess: While my curried potato salad recipe does not include mayo, you can add a touch of mayonnaise or sour cream to the dressing. This addition can lend a smoother texture and add richness to the salad.
Use sweet potatoes: You can replace the potatoes with sweet potatoes in this recipe. You can also use a mix of both. However, you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
Add dried fruits and nuts: Chopped dried fruits and nuts are a nice addition to this easy recipe. The sweetness of dried fruits such as golden raisins, cranberries, or apricots can contrast the savory and spicy curry flavors. Roasted mixed nuts like almonds, cashews, or walnuts can add a satisfying crunch.
Choose the right potatoes: Opt for waxy or semi-waxy potatoes such as red potatoes or Yukon Gold. These varieties hold their shape well after boiling, ensuring a sturdy texture in the salad. This variety works well with the Bombay potatoes recipe, too.
Use a big pot: When boiling potatoes, use a large pot or saucepan. This will prevent the potato cubes from bumping into each other, making them less intact.
Cook the potatoes correctly: Cook the potatoes just until they are tender when pierced with a fork. Be careful not to overcook them; they can become mushy and lose texture. Also, it is important to cut them into cubes and then cook them instead of cooking them whole. This way, you can ensure they are cooked evenly and do not get watery during the cooking process.
Cool the potatoes before mixing: After cooking, allow the potatoes to cool completely before cutting them and adding them to the dressing. Cooling prevents the potatoes from becoming too soft and helps them retain shape in the salad.
Let it chill: After mixing the potatoes with the dressing, refrigerate the salad for at least an hour before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together, making the salad even more delicious when served cold.
What to serve with curry potato salad?
Curry potato salad pairs well with various dishes and can be served as a side or a main course. Here are some of my favorite options:
Grilled meats and seafood: Serve curry potato salad alongside grilled chicken, lamb, shrimp, fish fillets, or skewered seafood. The savory flavors complement the spiciness of the curry and the creamy potatoes, creating a well-rounded meal.
Veggie Burgers: Pair the potato curried salad with vegetarian or vegan burgers made from ingredients like chickpeas, black beans, mushrooms, or this aloo tikki burger.
Roasted vegetables: Accompany this salad with a medley of roasted vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, or this air fryer eggplant.
Summer cookouts and picnics: Pair this curry potato salad with classic cookout foods like grilled corn on the cob, coleslaw, baked beans, and grilled vegetables. Take curry potato salad to your next picnic and pair it with sandwiches, wraps, or cold cuts.
To store any leftover curried potato salad, transfer it to an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. The salad can be stored for 3-4 days but is best enjoyed within the first couple of days for optimal flavor and texture.
You can adjust the spice level in the curried potato salad recipe by adjusting the amount of curry powder used. If you prefer a milder flavor, reduce the curry powder, or if you enjoy more heat, add extra curry powder or even a pinch of cayenne pepper. It is best to start with a smaller adjustment, taste the dressing, and gradually add more spice if needed until you achieve the desired level of spiciness.
You can substitute yogurt with sour cream or mayo in the curry potato salad recipe. Sour cream will provide the dressing with a tangy and creamy flavor, while mayo will contribute richness and a slightly different taste. Adjust the quantities based on your preference and desired consistency.
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Curried Potato Salad (No Mayo)
Boil the potatoes:
- Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut them into cubes.
- Place them in a large pot and add cold water to cover them by one inch. Add a generous pinch of salt to the water.
- Place the pot on high heat and bring it to a boil. Simmer and boil for 10-12 minutes until the potatoes are just cooked and fork-tender.
- Strain the potatoes using a colander and set them aside.
Make the curry oil:
- Place a small pan on medium heat and add one tablespoon of oil.
- Once it heats, add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
- Reduce the heat to low and add the curry leaves and curry powder. Saute for one minute so that the curry powder cooks through are releases flavor.
- Turn off the heat and let the curry oil cool down slightly.
Make the dressing:
- In a mixing bowl, combine together yogurt, curry oil, yellow mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
Make the salad:
- Place the potatoes, celery, red onions, and cilantro in a large mixing bowl.
- Pour the dressing and mix gently. Check and adjust seasoning.
- Let the salad rest for some time before serving so that the flavors can infuse.