Baby Potato Roast – Chettinad Urulai Roast

This month’s theme is dedicated to the mundane every day recipes that occupy pride of place in my home, but go unnoticed simply because they are not fancy looking or rich/heavy to consume.

I call them the unsung heroes of my kitchen, cause without them it would be impossible to survive.

Our daily meal is simple vegetarian fare-dal, rice, curd, rotis, vegetables- low on oil, salt & spices with lots of salad variations. Non vegetarian dishes are usually reserved for the weekends.  

Potato is one of our most favourite vegetables which is undoubtedly also one of the most versatile to cook.

This is South Indian style Baby Potato Roast, boiled baby potatoes, tossed in onions & a special Chettinad spice mix, quick yet tasty daily fare with Sambar or Dal-Rice.

You can skip the onion entirely or add ginger-garlic paste for more flavour. Similarly, replacing the spice mix with Sambar powder makes for a great flavour variation.

Recipe for Baby Potato Roast – Chettinad Urulai Roast

Ingredients (Serves 4-6 Persons)

  • 500gms baby potatoes, well washed
  • 2 cups water for cooking
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For seasoning

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds / rai
  • 1 teaspoon split Black gram / urad dal
  • 1 teaspoon split Bengal gram / chana dal
  • Pinch of asafoetida / hing (optional)
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • 1 medium onion, sliced or 4-6 shallots (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt as required

Chettinad dry spice masala

  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons coriander / dhania powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin / jeera powder
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seed / saunf powder
  • 2 teaspoons pepper powder or as per taste
  • ½ teaspoon homemade garam masala powder (Use 1 teaspoon if using store bought powder)


  1.  Pressure cook 500gms baby potatoes on high flame with 2 cups water & ½ teaspoon salt for 2 whistles. Allow pressure to drop by itself. Check if fully cooked, not mushy.
  2. Cool potatoes and peel them if you prefer. I always cook them with skin intact.
  3. In a heavy bottom pan / kadhai, heat 2 tbsp oil, add ½ tsp mustard seeds & splutter, then add 1 tsp of urad & chana dal, pinch of hing if using and sauté until dals are golden.
  4. Add curry leaves & once they crackle, add sliced onions. Sauté on high flame until pink.
  5. Add boiled baby potatoes, ¼ tsp salt & 1/4 tsp turmeric powder & mix well for 1 minute on a high flame. Mash a few potatoes lightly with the back of your spoon.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together all the dry spice powders listed under Chettinad masala & add them to the potato mixture. On a medium flame, toss the potatoes well to coat evenly with spices.
  7. Add 2 tbsp water, then cover & cook on low flame for 4-5 minutes
  8. Chettinad Potato Roast is ready to be served. Garnish with coriander leaves & serve with rotis or rice.
  9. The Betel Leaves Rasam, Malabar Spinach Curry or Tomato Saar goes very well with this dish. (Click on each name for desired recipe)


  • A teaspoon of ginger-garlic paste can also be added to the dish after the onions turn pink, before adding spices.
  • This recipe can be made without any onion garlic.
  • You can replace the Chettinad spice mix with sambar powder as well, for a variation in flavours.

2 thoughts on “Baby Potato Roast – Chettinad Urulai Roast

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