I used to be crazy about potato chips. Not all but a particular variety. To be specific the thin, almost transparent type that we used to get at the Delhi halwais. The variety you don’t get anymore. Infact a couple of years back, I bought 10 packs of chips from various shops in Mumbai (yes, I can get crazy like that) in my quest for the perfect chip..alas, to no avail. The fancy packaged ones never do it for me. And nor do the local ones anymore. The ones that I crave were really really thin, translucent and had oil bubbles trapped in it (yes..they were gross, greasy and utterly yummy), and NEVER flat. Instead these were all messily folded and ruffled up … As a kid I would go to birthday parties (this was the best place to find these) just to scarf these down in huge quantities (and I was still a reed thin kid…damn the injustice of it) and then at NID, I would buy and eat 250 gms worth of these every single day for a whole year (which is what caused me to put on those 10 kilos in 6 months). Ask my friend Kritika. She never lets me forget it.
I no longer have access to THOSE chips which is probably why I no longer have that crazy a chip-craving but I definitely have my in-phases. I long for fresh chips but resist because of what the oil does to my middle. But here’s what I discovered of late. I can now have potato chips. Without any guilt. Fresh out of my own kitchen. In a matter of minutes!! Microwave potato chips – with almost zero oil!! And what’s better, these actually taste damn good.. you can taste the mild sweetness of the potato and DIY flavourings are a big plus!
Microwave potato chips
- oil – to grease the plate
- salt and other spices – to taste (I use a lovely herb salt which my friend Neeta Bali gave me)
1. Thinly Slice the potatoes with a mandoline or with a kitchen knife . Thinner the better for a crisp chip. Immediately immerse all slices in cold water. Soaking for a bit more time before the next step will help remove more starch and result in a crisper chip.
2. Rinse the soaked slices in cold water until the water stays clear.
3. Dry the slices between clean cloth or paper kitchen towels or spin them in a salad spinner. Toss the slices in a bit of oil to just coat them with a very thin film (optional).
4. Arrange slices without overlap in a single layer on greased microwave proof dinner plates. Ensure that the slices do not touch or they will stick together. Sprinkle with salt and spices ( you could what you wish here.. garlic, chilli, pepper, dried herbs …bacon bits?).
5. Microwave the Slices – Microwave the slices at 100% power for 3 minutes. Next microwave at 50% power for another 3 minutes. Remove chips that are starting to crisp and brown. Continue cooking the remaining chips at 50% power in 1 minute intervals till done to your liking. Remember, the slices will crispen a bit more after taken out.
6. Repeat, let cool and enjoy
PS – When I am really tired and greedy, I often skip step 2 and 3 but you try not to be a lazy bum ok?
So crazy was I for potato chips that at a French film festival at NID, when a renowned French chef dropped out at the last minute, we served these fabulous chips with loads and loads of what has over the years become probably the most repeated recipe in my kitchen and my very favourite dip. Which brings me to the second super important part of this post. THE DIP. Read this very carefully, commit it to memory and I tell you, this is going to become a regular part of your repertoire. As it has for me and so many other people who tasted the dip and took the recipe from me.
Here are two versions of this very fabulous dip. The first is rich, garlicy and beautiful. Very like sour cream. The second one is light, sweet and sour and beautiful with the zing of lemon and the freshness of coriander. It’s a tough choice but I would recommend that you try both atleast once before deciding which one you like more. Also, once you learn the basic format, you could add various ingredients to this and make this what YOU want.. richer with more cream, lighter with milk; pepper and cream cheese, mint and green chillies..
Hung Curd Dip 1 – Onion and Garlic
- 1 litre – curd
- cream – 1/2 cup
- 2 – 3 cloves – garlic, pounded to a mash
- 1 – green chilli, seed removed and chopped very fine
- 1/2 teaspoon – onion, grated
- 1 teaspoon – finely chopped spring onion greens
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Remove the water in the curd by either placing in a thin muslin cloth, tying into a bundle and hanging from the kitchen pipe or placing the curd in a large sieve lined with a thin fabric. Drain till the water is all removed and the curd is almost like soft paneer. (you could do this overnight)
2. Whisk the cream with the hung curd in a large bowl till smooth and creamy. You can add a little milk to thin out the dip but do not make the dip too liquid. remember, you should be able to scoop it out with a chip! Add in the rest of the ingredients, mix well and refrigerate for atleast 2 hours before serving. You may need to rewhip the dip before serving and adjust the seasoning to your taste.
Hung Curd Dip 2 – Lemon and Coriander
- 1 litre – curd
- 3 teaspoon – finely chopped coriander leaves
- 1 teaspoon – lemon zest
- 2-3 teaspoon – lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon – sugar (powdered sugar will dissolve faster)
- salt and pepper to taste
- milk – 1/8 to 1/4 cup as needed to thin the dip
1. Drain the water from the curd using one of the two method described above.
2. Whisk the curd and lemon juice to make it smooth. Add a tablespoon of milk at a time till you have the desired consistency. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and adjust to taste.