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Baked Stuffed Potatoes

(recipe, Moosewood Collective)


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Introduction

I grew up on a small dairy farm in central New York where we also raised potatoes. We ate potatoes almost every day, and my oldest sister was once our county's Potato Queen, but this one dish my mother never made. (To the best of my knowledge, no mother in India has ever made it either.) Baked Stuffed Potatoes served with dal and your favorite chutney make a complete meal. —Linda Dickinson

Ingredients

    Potatoes
    1. 4 medium or 2 large baking potatoes
    2. 1 cup chopped onions
    3. ¾ cup diced carrots
    4. 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil or ghee
    5. ¾ cup red or green bell pepper (1 medium)
    6. 1 tsp. ground coriander seeds
    7. ½ tsp. turmeric
    8. ⅛ tsp. ground cardamom
    9. Pinch of ground cloves
    10. 4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
    11. Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    Spicy Yogurt Sauce
    1. 1 cup chopped onions
    2. 1 to 2 chiles, minced
    3. 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
    4. 1 tsp. ground cumin seeds
    5. 1 tsp. ground coriander seeds
    6. 1 large tomato, chopped (about 1 cup)
    7. 2 tsp. unbleached white flour
    8. 1 cup plain yogurt
    9. Salt, to taste

    Steps

    1. Scrub the potatoes and bake them in a 400-degree oven for one hour or until done.
    2. While the potatoes are baking, prepare the filling. Sauté the onions and carrots in the oil or ghee until they are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the bell pepper and spices and continue to sauté for another minute or two, stirring. Add a little water to the pan to prevent sticking, cover it, and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the bell pepper is just tender. Stir in the cream cheese and add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
    3. Once the potatoes are baked through, lower the oven heat to 350 degrees. When cool enough to handle, make a lengthwise cut in the top of each potato and scoop out at least half of the contents. If you are using large potatoes, cut them in half lengthwise and scoop them out, leaving about ½ inch of potato clinging to the skin. Mash the scooped-out potato and then add it to the vegetable-cream cheese mixture. Fill the potato shells with this mixture and place them in an oiled baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.
    4. While heating the potatoes, make the Spicy Yogurt Sauce: sauté the onions and chiles in the oil until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the cumin and coriander and sauté for a minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the tomato and flour and cook for 2 minutes. Finally, stir in the yogurt. Heat the sauce thoroughly, but do not allow it to boil or the yogurt will curdle. Add salt to taste and serve over hot potatoes.

    Note

    Baked Stuffed Potatoes can be prepared ahead. After stuffing the potatoes, wrap them well and refrigerate for up to two days. When ready to serve, bake them in a 350-degree oven for about 45 minutes.