This 5 ingredient, 15 minute meal is not only quick and easy to make, it’s one of my new favorite dinners. It is very loosely based on a delicious Indian dish called Masala Dosa. If you’re like me, your typical go-to at an Indian restaurant is Butter Chicken or some similar curry that was put on the menu for white people. Years ago, I went to an Indian restaurant with my Indian boyfriend (now husband) and he opened to gateways for me to try all the amazing dishes I was previously too scared to try. Things with 3 chilis next to them (indicating extreme spiciness), names I couldn’t pronounce, and completely lack-luster descriptions, like my beloved Masala Dosa which is usually described, quite hum-drumly, as “lentil pancake.” Let me tell you, if you ever see Masala Dosa on a menu, order it! It’s so much more than a lentil pancake. It’s a thin, crispy, buttery crepe, wrapped around spicy, tender, mouth-watering potatoes that you tear off into big bites and dip in a flavorful broth called Sambar. Oh my goodness, I’m drooling!!!
The potatoes in my Spicy Potato Pitas are inspired by the potatoes in Masala Dosa. I added peas, because my mother-in-law often adds peas to her curry and potato dishes, and the effect is lovely. The rest is not very authentically Indian at all, but hey, that’s what fusion is all about, right? I’ve been cooking a lot for my husband’s family lately, and am proud to say that my crazy creations have been getting five-star ratings from even the greatest skeptics. I have a feeling this particular dish would be a hit among them as well!
The cool thing about this recipe is it uses things that are usually in everyone’s kitchen. It’s also kid friendly, especially if you opt to sprinkle some cheese on top and tell them it’s ‘pizza.’ As a kid, my mother used to top toast with spaghetti sauce and some Parmesan and we totally bought it when she called it ‘pizza toast.’ It’s all about marketing people 😉 You can adjust the spice level to suit your taste, but I promise you, the quantities here result in a pretty tame flavor, as potatoes really soak up and mute spiciness, as do the pita and hummus.
Prep time: 15 minutes Total Cooking time: 15 minutes
- 4 medium-large potatoes, diced in small, quarter-inch cubes
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Indian Spice Blend (click for a link to the recipe)
- 1 cup hummus
- 4 whole-wheat pitas
- Optional: Crumbled Feta (or vegan cheese) and Minced Parsley
- Fill a medium pot halfway with water (about 4-5 cups), add a generous pinch of salt, cover the pot and put it on high heat.
- Dice the potatoes (no need to peel them) and throw them in the water, even if it’s not boiling yet. Keep the pot covered. Once it does start to boil, lower the heat and let it simmer about 6-7 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender. Add the peas and let it continue simmering for 2 minutes.
- Meanwhile, spread hummus on each pita. Prep the parsley and feta if you’re using them.
- Drain the potatoes and peas, and return the pot to the stove. Add a generous glug of olive oil, the Indian Spice Blend, and salt & pepper. Stir to coat the mixture evenly. Let it cook for just a minute, stirring once or twice, to let the spices get toasted and more flavorful.
- Top each pita with a big spoonful of potato mixture. Sprinkle with feta and parsley if using. Enjoy!
*** There are two tricks to getting this meal done in 15 minutes:
- Use only enough water to barely cover the potatoes. In fact, it’s fine if a few stick out of the water. Just keep the lid on the pot and they will steam up perfectly.
- Cut the potatoes into really small pieces and don’t waste time peeling them.
I rounded out this meal by serving a simple salad on the side. If you have a package of washed baby greens and a bottle of dressing in the fridge, this should be no problem at all. Keep handy a few tasty add-ins (I’m thinking cherry tomatoes and sunflower seeds) and you’ve just stepped it up a notch!