I think that sometimes we get stuck in what I’d like to call a “potato rut” and forget that these tubers pair so well with big, bold flavours and spices. Preparing potatoes with tamarind is common in India and some parts of the Middle East. I’ve developed this recipe so that it’s easy to prepare using ingredients that are readily available at most major grocery stores. The most labour-intensive part is cooking the potatoes - you have my word. Try serving these potatoes alongside roasted lamb or salmon – it’s sure to be a hit at your next dinner party.

Serves 4-6, as a side dish


1 ½ lbbaby yellow or white potatoes
½ tspsea salt, plus more to taste
1 Tbspgrapeseed or canola oil
2shallots, peeled and sliced
2 clovesgarlic, roughly chopped
1 Tbspginger, peeled and chopped
½ tspturmeric
½ tspfennel seed
½ tspcinnamon
½ tspground cardamom
½ tspgaram masala
½ cuptamarind paste or sauce *(see note below if using tamarind sauce)
2 Tbsphoney, plus more to taste
½red finger chili, thinly sliced, for garnish (add more if you like things extra spicy)
cilantro (optional), to garnish


  1. Place potatoes and sea salt in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook potatoes for 10-15 minutes until tender and fully cooked. Once cooked, drain well and reserve.
  2. Preheat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add oil, shallot, garlic, ginger, and all spices (turmeric through garam masala). Sauté, stirring often, for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add tamarind puree and honey, stir to combine. Taste the mixture and see if you’d prefer it sweeter; if so, add additional honey. Add the cooked potatoes and stir well to coat all with the sauce. Serve immediately garnished with fresh chilies and cilantro, if desired.
  4. Enjoy!

* Note: If you can’t find tamarind paste but can find tamarind sauce, you’ll have to taste it before starting this recipe to assess its level of seasoning and sweetness. Tamarind in sauce form often comes already laden with spices like garam masala, coriander and is also pre-sweetened. In this case, you may not want to add additional spices and sweetener. But decide for yourself and make adjustments using the spices outlined in my recipe. So, if you’re using prepared tamarind sauce, just sauté shallot, garlic and ginger together for a minute or two, add the tamarind sauce, and then finish with the potatoes as outlined in the recipe.