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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Potato Chips

This is a recipe that takes me right back to childhood. When I was a little kid, I used to help my mom in all her tasks around the kitchen, well whatever she allowed me to do. One of the things she used to do in summers was to prepare various kinds of chips. Now these were special dried chips, which used to be stored in big bins and fried for special occasions or when we were expecting guests. She used to make these chips out of tapioca, raagi, and other grains but one that she used to always make were these dried potato chips. She used to make a few versions.  They used to be the regular flat chip, the wavy kind, shredded chips and  a lattice one. The lattice shaped chip was probably the most fascinating. in fact I used to think it was magic because the grater she used just had a wavy edge and I couldn't understand how she managed to get the lattice pattern in the potato. It always felt like magic.

Well last year, I spotted these chips at a friend's house. She mentioned that she had the grater and so I borrowed it. Again, I saw that this grater just had wavy edge and so naturally I called up my Mom to ask her how to get the lattice patter. This was when the mystery was finally solved. The key to making this lattice lay in the way the grater was used. Read ahead for instructions on how to use the grater. 

I finally made the chips and enjoyed making these and reliving childhood.

2 large potatoes
water, enough to cover the potoato chips completely
salt, to salt the water
a pinch of alum, optional

oil to deep fry the chips
chilli powder (optional)
powdered sugar (optional)

Wash and peel the potato. Grate the first chip, using the wavy edge of the grater. This first chip will be a wavy chip. Then, turn the potato 90 degrees to the original position and then grate the 2nd chip. This chip will have a lattice pattern. Again, turn the potato 90 degrees to grate the 3rd lattice patterned chip. Continue this till the entire potato has been grated.

As you grate out these chips put them in a bowl full of salted water. This will stop the oxidation of the potatoes and help keep it blemish free. Make sure that the water covers the chips completely. Once all the chips have been created, start heating the bowl. Bring it to a boil and then turn off the heat. Let it cool down a bit. At this stage, the chips will be slightly transluscent. At this stage the chips are cooked however not so soft that they will fall apart or get mushy. Now, drain the water and on a large cotton or plastic sheet, spread these out. Space them out and lay them flat to dry. You can dry these in the sun or even in your kitchen. It will take a little longer indoors, however they dry up completely in about 3-5 days depending on the season.

The chips shrink to almost half the size and become very tiny. Once the chips are completely dry, they will turn hard and brittle. You can store them in an airtight box at this stage.

When you are ready to eat them, heat up oil in a frying pan. Once the oil heats up, fry the chips and as you scoop them out, sprinkle a mixture of salt, sugar and chilli powder on the warm chips. 

You can also store these fried chips for a few weeks in an airtight box.

Sometimes it may happen that the dried potato chip may turn red or brown in color,  upon frying . To avoid this and to ensure that the potato chip remains blemish free and doesn't become red or discolored while frying, alum is used. However, this is optional. A couple of large potatoes will make several chips.
You can use the same method to make shredded potato chips or flat potato chips. Just use the appropriate grater edge.
Turn off the heat when the chips are transluscent. We don't want the chips to be over cooked.
To determine if the oil is hot enough, drop a small chip in the oil and if it comes up immediately, then the oil is hot. Turn the heat to medium and fry the remaining chips.
Though the chips shrink to a very tiny size upon drying, they will puff up as they are fried.
Make sure the chips are cool before storing them in a box.
This is also a side when an elaborate, traditional Indian meal is prepared along with a variety of fried chips and papads.

1 comment:

  1. Potato Chips is very easy to use where you can prepare many different snacks without taking much of your time. Being very popular it is used widely in the different countries. The best part is that it helps in preparing the Potato Chips in the spiral frame that not only makes it look very interesting and beautiful but also makes it very tasty as well.
    Potato Chips