Jumping Potatoes

Jumping Potatoes are an essential part of a dish called Alu Makhala (ah-loo muckh-hull-uh) which is a favourite of the small community of Middle Eastern Jews living in India. Alu Makhala is, basically, chicken pieces sauteed with onions. The potatoes take their name from their extreme crispness which makes them, unless carefully speared, jump from the plate on to the lap and floor.

2 lb. medium-sized potatoes, peeled

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 pint

12 fl. oz. vegetable oil

Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and barely cover them with cold water. Add the salt and turmeric and bring the water to the boil over high heat. Boil the potatoes for 30 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and drain the potatoes in a colander.

In a large, deep-frying pan, large enough for the potatoes to lie in one layer, heat the oil over moderate heat. When the oil is hot, but not hot enough to fry the potatoes, add the potatoes. Simmer them for 10 to 15 minutes or until they just begin to soften. Test by prodding a potato with a fork. Remove the pan from heat and let the potatoes cool in the oil.

Twenty minutes before serving, return the pan to high heat and bring the oil to a simmer. When the potatoes float to the top, continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 5 to 6 minutes or until the potatoes are crisp and golden-brown.

Run enough cold water into the kitchen sink to make a depth of 2 inches. Remove the pan from the heat and place it in the water. Stir the potatoes gently for 2 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes from the oil and arrange them on a warmed serving dish. Serve very hot.

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