"Panch phoran is a Bengali five-spice mix. You can buy it in some spice shops, but it’s easy enough to make your own, and it’s so addictive, I’ve given you a recipe for more than you’ll need for this recipe but it will keep well in an airtight container for up to 3 months. It’s delicious in dahl, on fried cauliflower, fish – anything really – but it’s particularly good with potatoes." Matthew Evans, For the Love of Meat
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp panch phoran spice mix
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 long green chillies, sliced lengthways
- 6 curry leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 4 large potatoes, peeled and diced
- 4 eggs
- chopped coriander leaves, to serve
Panch phoran spice mix
- 3 tbsp brown mustard seeds
- 3 tbsp fennel seeds
- 3 tbsp Nigella seeds
- 3 tbsp cumin seeds
- salt, to taste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make the spice mix, combine the spices and season with salt and store in an airtight container.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the spice mix and let it sizzle for a minute or until fragrant but not burnt. Add the onion, chilli and curry leaves and stir for 3-4 minutes or until beginning to soften. Stir in the garlic, ginger and turmeric and continue to cook until the onions have softened and are starting to colour. Add the potatoes and stir until they’re coated in the spicy yellow mix. Add 125 ml (½ cup) water, then cover the pan with a tight fitting lid, reduce the heat to low and cook for 10–15 minutes or until the potatoes are just starting to soften – you want them to remain firm.
Remove the lid and increase the heat to medium–high. Cook for another 5–10 minutes, stirring a little, but not too much – you want the potatoes to crisp up and hold their shape.
Heat a drizzle of oil in a separate frying pan over medium-high heat. Fry the eggs until the white is cooked but the yolk is still runny.
To serve, divide the potatoes between serving plates, top with a fried egg and scatter with coriander.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Vanessa Austin. Food preparation by Alex Herbert.