Creamy and cheesy layers of potatoes spiced with savory Indian flavors make this potato gratin deliciously addictive and a perfect side to your Thanksgiving or Christmas spread this year! The potatoes turn out perfectly roasted on the outside and super creamy on the inside, and the mild Indian spices add such a lovely savory flavor & compliment the potatoes so nicely!
This is such an easy dish to make and is perfect for both special occasions or even simple weeknight dinners! I have also included instructions to make this dish a day ahead of time!
Gratin is a classic French culinary technique in which a dish is usually prepared in a shallow container and has a nicely browned crust on top. Gratin can be made with a variety of different vegetables or meats and potato gratin (also known as pommes de terre gratin) is the most classic and common type of gratin.
Flavors in this potato gratin
My Indo French fusion potato gratin is spiced beautifully with Garam Masala & crushed Telicherry black pepper. I love the depth of flavor from the garam masala with all those warming spices. I also stuffed thinly sliced jalapenos between some of the layers of potatoes, so every once in a while, you get a nice spicy kick! The cherry on top is definitely the caramelized onions & the tadka (tempering) that I add just before serving. The tadka has ghee infused with Kashmiri red chilli powder, cumin seeds, curry leaves and some lovely roasted cashews for crunch. It adds so much flavor and texture and is what makes this dish spectacular, don't skip it!
How to make my spicy Indian potato gratin
Making my potato gratin is really simple. Here's how you do it:
Dish to bake this potato gratin in
I used a stoneware dish to bake my potato gratin but any oven safe dish will work here. Keep in mind that this is an oven to table dish, so pick something that will look nice while serving too.
Tips to make this potato gratin in advance + Storage & reheating instructions
What I love most about this dish is that you can make it up to 3 days ahead of time! Perfect for when you are having guests over or during busy times like the holidays. Being able to make it ahead of time means that you have one less thing to worry about during the main event!
To make this potato gratin in advance, follow all the instructions as below upto when you take the potatoes out of the oven after 1 hour and 20 minutes of baking, and sprinkle parmesan cheese over it (step 9). After this step, leave the potato gratin at room temperature to cool down and then store it in the refrigerator until needed (for up to 3 days). Also store the reserved caramelized onions in the refrigerator until serving.
On the day you plan to serve it, take the potato gratin out of the refrigerator 4 hours before serving. About an hour and half before serving, preheat your oven to 400F and then follow the rest of the instructions as below. You might need to cook the potato gratin a little longer (30-40 minutes) or until they are nicely browned!
If you have leftovers, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat the leftovers in a microwave or oven before serving.
More recipes to try this holiday season!
Indian spiced potato gratin
For the cream sauce
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon garam masala powder
- kosher salt (to taste)
For the potatoes gratin
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 medium red onions
- kosher salt
- 1 kg potatoes (I prefer waxy potatoes like yukon gold/red)
- 1 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 small jalapenos
- ⅓ cup grated cheddar cheese (or any flavorful cheese like gruyere or gouda)
- 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese (or pecorino romano)
For the tadka/tempering
- 2 teaspoons ghee
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 15 curry leaves
- 10 cashews
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
To make the cream sauce
- Mix all the ingredients for the cream sauce together and heat it up in the microwave/stove top until it is lukewarm.
To make the potatoes gratin
- Heat 2 teaspoons butter in a frying pan. When it gets medium hot, add in the sliced onions along with a pinch of salt. Cook the onions on medium heat for 7-10 minutes or until they get lightly caramelized and golden brown. Save ⅓ of the caramelized onions for later.
- Preheat your oven to 400F/200C.
- Grease your baking dish with a teaspoon of soft butter all over the bottom and sides. I used a 7"*11" baking dish.
- Wash the potatoes well and then dry them. I prefer not to peel them but you can if you like. Slice the potatoes really thin (about ⅛") either using a mandolin or a sharp knife.
- Arrange small portions of the sliced potatoes in the baking dish at a time, fanning them out a little so that they can bake evenly. You should have a thin layer of potatoes at the bottom of the baking dish. Now layer the caramelized onions and some some sliced jalapenos (if you like spicy food). Pour over about ⅓ of the cream mixture over the top.
- Continue fanning and layering the remaining potatoes over the top of the onion jalapeno layer. Do this until the baking dish is completely filled with the sliced potatoes. Now pour over the remaining cream mixture evenly over the potatoes.
- Sprinkle the cheddar cheese evenly over the potatoes and then cover the baking dish with a piece of aluminum foil. Place the baking dish on a bigger baking tray/cookie sheet to avoid spills in your oven.
- Bake covered at 400F/200C for about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
- By now the potatoes should be bubbling and almost cooked through. Now, take off the foil and sprinkle parmesan cheese all over the potatoes.
- Return the dish to the oven and bake uncovered for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy on top.
For the tadka/tempering
- Heat the ghee in a small frying pan on medium heat for about 30 seconds. Now add in the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for 15 seconds before adding in the curry leaves. Cook the curry leaves for about 20 seconds and then add in the cashews. Cook the cashews for about a minute or until they get lightly roasted. Turn off the heat at this stage and add in the kashmiri red chili powder. Mix everything together.
- Once the potatoes are out of the oven, drizzle this flavorful ghee mix over the potatoes gratin and top them with the reserved caramelized onions.
- Now allow the potatoes to rest uncovered for about 15-20 minutes. This will allow the cheese and cream to firm up slightly.
- Scoop out portions with a large serving spoon and enjoy!
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