I have been failing, for six years, to make the amazing fried potato curry I grew up eating at home in India. I honestly don't know what I'm doing wrong. I have tried literally every single variety of potatoes I can get my hands on at my Trader Joe's: Russett, Golden, Red, White, you name it.

I cut up the potatoes into small, uniform cubes so that there is a larger surface area to work with; I first add oil (I've worked with olive and canola oil) to my pot and let it sit until I can feel it get hot. I then add my spices (cumin seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves and green chilies) and let it all splutter nicely. Then I add my potatoes.

Every single time, the potatoes end up not getting fried, rather, they end up sticking to the bottom. I then up adding more water or more oil with increasing frustration to try and get the potatoes off the bottom; they only get more and more mashed. As a result, I've never been able to eat my favourite curry, and end up with a subpar dish that's neither your American mashed potatoes nor your Indian potato curry.

What am I doing wrong?

  • Are you following any sort of recipe? Where did you get the method you're using?
    – Catija
    Oct 9, 2016 at 18:03
  • 1
    Dont know anything abt Indian cooking, but 3 things abt potatoes: 1) Cooks Illustrated mag. says don't try to turn/dislodge frying things too soon or they will stick. i.e. their hold on the bottom of pan loosens up as they fry. 2)Do you boil whole potatoes before cutting & frying? They seem a little less sticky...if your recipe permits 3)My experience w/ potatoes is anything in the pan before them will make them stick (unless maybe it's a brand new Teflon coated pan) Potatoes don't exude a lot of water as they fry, so maybe putting the spices in the oil after potatoes are done will be ok?
    – Lorel C.
    Oct 9, 2016 at 18:27

2 Answers 2


There are two easy ways to prepare dry potato fry/curry. First one which I always use is first boil the potatoes till tender (not mushy though), peel and cube them. It is important that they are firm and hold their shape . Then proceed with frying. Add oil, temper spices, add the potatoes, do the seasoning, let the outside gets crusty(fryed) and there you have it . This method works fine and you won't find potatoes sticking to the bottom. The second method is direct cooking of potatoes in the pan(which you mentioned) and yes, they tend to stick to the bottom. I suggest you cut the potatoes into smaller pieces and use a non stick pan for frying. (To ensure it doesn't stick also to ensure it absorbs less oil). If you do not have non stick pan, then try frying with a little more oil than usual, give it some time, and then turn gently. It's ok if they stick little bit. They come off as u keep frying. Fry in low flame to begin with. And don't add spices like chilly powder or salt at the very beginning. They may stick to the bottom making the already existing problem multiply, and will get burnt. Once the potatoes are almost cooked and do no more stick to the pan, add the seasoning. I use both these methods for cooking potatoes and they work exceptionally well. Of course both have their own taste. Hope it's clear now. All the best!

  • Yup, you have to blanch them. I like blanching them in a deep fryer with some peanut oil for just a few minutes then give them plenty of time to drain. Many use the same technique for good crispy chips / fries.
    – user293
    Oct 10, 2016 at 7:08

Fry potatoes-big chunks. Put them in curry thereafter. Cook on low flame for sometime.

  • This can work depending on the recipe, but needs to come with a caution that fried potatoes added too late to a sauce will not blend well flavor wise, but will also be all to easy to overcook in the sauce. Oct 11, 2016 at 8:39

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