East Indian Potato Chops
Category: Side Dishes | Blog URL: http://potatochopsandbonelesschix.blogspot.com/search/label/potato%20chops
This recipe was entered in The Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook contest, a compilation of the world’s best food blogs which was published in Fall 2010.
Photo: Beverley Ann D'Cruz
Potato chops, an East Indian speciality of mashed potato stuffed with delicately spiced beef mince is one of my mother’s signature dishes. As I currently live abroad in Dubai, UAE, it is often one of the first things I request my mother to make when I return home on vacation to Bombay, India.
One of the best memories my sister and I have is of my mother using these as a weapon against my father when they just had a fight. No she didn’t throw them at him. Since they were usually not speaking to each other, my father refused to eat any food prepared by my mother and would resort to cooking his own meals. Of course for my sister and me it meant twice the amount of food and we weren’t complaining.
However, when the cold war went on for more than a day or two my mother would turn to making potato chops to put an end to it. And that is one thing my father couldn’t resist – yes, the chops are that good. Of course my father wouldn’t touch any of them during the day when they were just prepared. After my mum had packed them away for the night he would then have a midnight feast.
The next day my mother would check the storage container and triumphantly take note there were a couple missing. And that was the truce. When they faced each other that day, they used to smile, kiss and make up.
I recently found a recipe for Kubbat Potato in The Iraqi Cookbook by Lamees Ibrahim. In brackets underneath the title it read 'potaita chap'. The recipe was similar to the way my mother makes the potato chops, except for the use of parsley and addition of flaked almonds. The pictures were virtually interchangeable. The biggest question I had was - had we East Indians borrowed it from them or were they inspired by us?
Either way here’s my mother’s recipe, which I have finally learnt to make after years of watching her and complaining it is too tedious. Now I just have to get my own husband addicted to them.