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Masala-Spiced French Fries
At Hyderabadi Spice in East Ham, London, chef Zuber Momin offers a South Asian take on french fries. He dusts freshly fried potatoes with a mix of spices, including chaat masala, a blend that includes amchoor (green mango powder) and black salt. For our version, we settled on a french fry formula that calls for simmering cut, rinsed potatoes in salted acidulated water, a technique from cookbook author J. Kenji López-Alt. The salt seasons the potatoes while the vinegar helps them retain their shape and aids with crisping. Before frying, we toss the spuds with potato starch (use potato starch, not potato flour) mixed with spices. The starch gives the cooked potatoes even lighter, crispier surfaces. For the spicing, we use a blend of cumin, ground ginger and Kashmiri chili powder (you can substitute ¾ teaspoon sweet paprika plus ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper for the chili). If you prefer chaat masala, skip the spices; instead toss 1½ tablespoons chaat masala with the potato starch, then season each batch of hot fries with an additional 1½ to 2 teaspoons chaat masala, plus salt and pepper.
pounds russet potatoes
tablespoons white vinegar