Cumin Potatoes

Cumin Potatoes


Cumin Potatoes are great for those who like their food to have a lot of flavors. This is the vegan option if you’re seeking a “meat and potatoes” dinner but don’t want to eat animal products.


If you’ve ever had Cumin Lamb, you’ll recognize the flavors in this recipe, which are inspired by the same combination of spices and aromatics in Cumin Lamb but use pan-fried potatoes instead. We first saw it in action on the streets of Xi’an at a night market selling street food, where cooks were frying food in woks positioned over what looked like gigantic oil barrels and other homemade chimney-like cooktops.

Little baby potatoes are the right size for this dish and are a cute addition to a salad or appetizer. Because they’re a touch pricey, I’d recommend using ordinary potatoes in their place. Slice them thinly (approximately 1/4 inch thick) and skip the “smashing” stage to save money. It’s still necessary to pan-fry both sides of sliced potatoes if you want a crispy exterior. Using this method stops the slices from breaking apart and becoming a cumin potato hash.


What are you going to serve these cumin potatoes with, then? If you’ve been following our blog, you know that we eat rice with just about anything. The side of rice often accompanies our steaks. Yes, I’m joking, but the advice remains the same! These potatoes will be an excellent addition to meatloaf, roast meats, or a steak meal if you’re not a fan of carb loading.

This recipe for Cumin Potatoes is an excellent alternative to traditional mashed potatoes.


  • 1 pound of baby Yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 chopped scallion
  • 1 small diced onion
  • ¼ cup of chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 2 teaspoons of light soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • dash of crushed chili flakes
  • Salt


  1. The potatoes should be cooked after 15 minutes of boiling in a kettle of water. They know they’re ready when a fork passes through easily.
  2. After draining and cooling slightly, lightly flatten each potato with the flat side of a large knife until the skin splits open, but the potato remains whole. Don’t press too hard, or they’ll break.
  3. An iron skillet or nonstick pan with a flat bottom should be heated with 2 teaspoons of oil. Potatoes should be lightly browned on all sides. If you’re pressed for time, you can skip this step. Just be aware that browning gives the potatoes a richer, more roasted flavor.
  4. The final tablespoon of oil in your wok should be heated over medium-high heat. The diced onion, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds are added. The onion should be cooked for about a minute or until transparent. Add the potatoes after that, along with 2 teaspoons of light soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon of sugar, 1 teaspoon of cumin powder, 1 tablespoon of water, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, and a few crushed red pepper flakes for flavor.
  5. Use a wok spatula to swirl the potatoes in the spices gently. Add the cilantro and scallion after adding salt to taste. Before transferring to a serving plate, gently stir everything together one more time.

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