Cooking: Crispy Potato Nests Poutine with Tikka Masala Gravy

When I’m out and about with Eric at bars on the weekend we always crave the snack food bars sell – poutine, nachos, fries, etc. These are all delicious fried foods that can be tricky to make at home. But last weekend I think I finally cracked the code on how to make amazing, easy to make bar food at home – so today I will be going over my recipe for my decadent crispy potato nests poutine with tikka masala gravy!!! Warning: This is not a healthy recipe and it is almost too easy to make!

Last weekend Eric and I had his cousin and her husband over for a night of hanging out and delicious food. I decided we would need an excellent barfood inspired snack to keep us going long into the night. We did all the prep work in advance so it would be easy (even after a few drinks) to put the poutines together. However; we all ate so much at Rodeo Brazilian Steakhouse that night (http://www.rodeobraziliansteakhouse.com/, it was amazing food that I will crave for months to come) that we didn’t eat the poutine until the next day. And by eat it the next day I mean that instead of the hashbrowns I planned we ate tikka masala poutine for breakfast (it was delightfully naughty)!

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Crispy potato nests poutine with tikka masala gravy – even just looking at this picture makes me want to make it again!

This poutine is mouthwatering and decadent – it has a base of crispy potato nests smothered with a flavorful tikka masala gravy and squeaky, melty, cheese curds. We also topped the poutines with fresh cilantro. It is definitely one of the tastiest dishes we have ever made at home – if Eric and I ever do open a brewpub or bar this would go on the menu for sure!

I’m going to start with discussing the crispy potato nests. I was inspired to try this recipe when I was watching the show Giada Entertains (Food Network) where she made thin, curly, crispy fries using a sprializer. The recipe is this one: (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/crispy-potato-nests-with-cherry-ketchup.html?soc=socialsharingpinterest), but I omitted making the cherry ketchup and adding cinnamon to my potato nests.

The specialized equipment you need for this recipe is a deep fry thermometer (or candy thermometer) and a sprializer. However, I think this recipe could be done without a spiralizer if you are going for more of a regular french fry shape and if you have the patience to cut the potatoes. Definitely the skinnier your potatoes are cut the crispier they will get when you fry them. We used a thermapen thermometer that Eric has for brewing and it was perfect for this since it has an instant digital readout (http://www.thermoworks.com/products/thermapen/). Ingredient wise this is an amazingly simple recipe: Russet potatoes, vegetable oil (enough to fill your pot 3 inches deep), and salt.

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What you need to make crispy potato nests at home (not pictured, deep fry thermometer)

To make the potato nests first heat the oil in a pot over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F on the deep fry thermometer. Please be careful when working with the hot oil and keep in mind that many insurance policies don’t cover fires caused by deep frying. Next, using the medium-thick blade on a spiralizer, cut the potatoes into thin spirals. We actually spiralized the potatoes in advance, just remember to store the spiralized potatoes in water so they don’t turn black due to oxidation.

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Frying the potato nests

In small batches fry the potatoes, turning them as needed so they brown and crisp up evenly. They are done when they are lightly golden and crispy, which takes about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the potato nests to a paper towel-lined plate, dab gently with paper towels to remove excess oil, and then sprinkle with salt to taste. Serve immediately. Ensure the oil is always above 350°F before you put in more batches of potatoes; otherwise your temperature may be too low and your potatoes will not fry.

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Be sure to dab the excess oil off and sprinkle with salt

These fries were amazing and I can definitely see Eric and I making them again; they were crispy and tasted like fries you would get at an upscale bar. They were also very easy to make! They were excellent on their own and definitely did not need to be made into poutine…but I had a recipe for tikka masala gravy to put on fries that was begging to be part of a poutine!

One of our most unique wedding gifts was a subscription to a spice of the month club called Spice Post. Spice Post sends you two spice mixes a month along with several recipes that use the spice mixes. We have loved discovering new flavours and recipes, and this recipe for tikka masala gravy is probably our favourite one yet! Best of all, you don’t need to have the Spice Post tikka masala spice mix we used – any tikka masala spice mix will work in this recipe.

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Spice Post tikka masala spice mix and recipe card

To make the tikka masala gravy you will need:

  • vegetable oil
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 1 minced chili (if you want to add some heat)
  • 2 tsp. flour
  • 2 tbsp. tikka masala spice mix (our mix was from Spice Post but other mixes would work well too)
  • 8 oz. chicken stock
  • 8 oz. coconut milk
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 4 tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro (chop extra if you will want to sprinkle some on top of the poutine)

Heat the oil in a pan then brown the chopped onion and the minced chili until they are soft and golden. Add flour and tikka masala spice mix to the pan, warming until fragrant. Next, add chicken stock and coconut milk to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Don’t cook for too long or the gravy will be too thick. Finally, stir in cilantro leaves and finish making the sauce by adding the lemon juice.

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The recipe card for the Spice Post tikka masala spice mix; we made the chips and curry sauce for our poutines

The tikka masala gravy was fairly easy to make and we made it in advance. It is very rich, flavourful, and sure to be a crowd pleaser!

To assemble the poutines simply place a layer of potato nests on small plates, sprinkle with cheese curds, spoon on a generous amount of tikka masala gravy on top, and then finish by sprinkling some finely chopped cilantro leaves on top.

I hope I have inspired you to try making fries and poutine at home; it was much easier and tastier than I ever imagined it would be! Enjoy, and as always let me know if you make this recipe or have any questions!

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Crispy potato nests poutine with tikka masala gravy – drool worthy!
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The tikka masala gravy is also perfect for dipping!
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