Potato Curry With Panch Phoron
3 dried hot red chiles (about 3 inches long), stems removed
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 bay leaves
1/8 teaspoon asafetida powder
1 1/2 teaspoons tamarind concentrate
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cover potatoes with salted cold water by 1 inch in a 2 1/2- to 3-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer, partially covered, until potatoes are just tender when pierced with a small sharp knife, about 12 minutes. Drain. Once cool enough to handle, peel potatoes with a small sharp knife or a vegetable peeler and cut into 1-inch pieces.
Heat oil in wok over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add bay leaves, panch phoron, and asafetida and cook, stirring frequently, until seeds from panch phoron stop sputtering, about 1 minute. Add potatoes and turmeric and sauté, stirring, until potatoes are pale golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add 1 cup water and bring to a boil, then simmer briskly, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.