The rise of street food has given us some amazing food innovations but nothing is as good as the march of ‘dirty’ food. Over-the-top, indulgent foods from the fast-food side of haute cuisine, they are irresistible. My friend Jonny put together this recipe for Indian Dirty Fries, a fantastic vegan dish everyone can enjoy. You’ll need proper chips so a big pan of oil or a frier, but it’s worth it. The curry sauce can be frozen and kept too, you’ll not want to waste any!
For 4-6 people, you will need:
3 large white onions, thinly sliced
½ jar Patak’s madras curry paste
200g red lentils
1 litre vegetable stock (using 2 cubes)
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Bunch fresh coriander, chopped
30g Self raising flour
10g curry powder, plus another 1 tablespoon
5g dried mint
5g ground coriander
8 large Maris Piper potatoes with skins on, cut into 9mm chips (or thereabouts!)
120g Greek-style vegan coconut yoghurt
Make the bhaji onions first. Pour a good amount of oil into a frying pan (to 2mm depth) and heat on maximum. In a bowl, mix the flour, 10g curry powder, mint and coriander. Add one of the sliced onions, mixing with your hands until well coated. Transfer to the hot oil and fry, turning frequently, until very dark. Transfer to a plate with kitchen towel on it to dry, leave to one side.
Next, make the curry sauce. In a large high-sided frying pan, sweat the onions in a little oil over a medium heat until soft. Add the curry paste and stir through so the onions are coated. Fry for a couple of minutes.
Add the vegetable stock, lentils and tinned tomatoes. Stir and simmer gently for 25 minutes, stirring regularly. The transfer to a large bowl and blitz with a hand blender or put in a food processor and whizz until smoother but still with a rough texture. Put to one side with tin foil on top to keep warm.
Finally, fry the chips. You can do them in batches, they will take around 10 minutes at 180 degrees oil temperature. Make the seasoning mixture my mixing 1 tablespoon of curry powder with 1 tablespoon salt. When done, put the chips on kitchen towel which is in turn on greaseproof paper. Sprinkle over some of the seasoning and put up the corners of the paper so you can shake it all over the chips so they are well coated.
Place the chips in individual serving bowls. Pour over a couple of ladles of curry sauce, spoon over some yoghurt, sprinkle a good amount of bhaji onions and finish with some of the coriander.