Feeling nostalgic for the delicious indian take-out next door to my old workplace, I recently made this batch of masala chips. Making your own potato chips is easy once you get the technique down. It comes down to a few simple steps: soak, drain, fry, and season.
There are a few things to keep in mind when making a crispy, delicious chip. Slice the potatoes thinly and evenly. You can, of course, use a fancy mandoline for this, but I found that this ceramic slicer gadget works just as well for something as simple as potato chips.
It’s best to be very careful when running a potato through one of these things, no matter what type you get. Use a pusher or protective glove once you get close to your fingers. You could also try a potato peeler or even a chef’s knife and a steady hand, as long as the slices are very thin and even. Wash the poatoes and leave the skins on before slicing – it’s easier and each chip will be rimmed with a tiny layer of tasty skin.
Once you’ve got your thin slices, give them a bath. Immediately place the slices into a bowl of cold water to start removing some of the starch. Starch is bad for fries and it’s bad for chips, too. You want these babies to get a nice cold soaking while you heat up the oil.
The oil should be of a decent quantity (we are deep frying, not pan frying) and heated to a steady 350 degrees. This temperature gives you enough time to mess around with the chips, keeping them from sticking together and such, while still cooking them quite rapidly. A deep fryer is awfully handy to ensure a steady temperature and automatic re-heating between batches. If you don’t have a deep fryer, you can always use a thermometer and a pot.
Drain and dry off the potato slices with paper towels, spreading them out and pressing down between two paper towel layers. Set out another baking sheet lined with more paper towels for the finished chips. Place the thin slices directly into the hot oil, layering them in 1 or 2 at a time so they don’t stick together.
Once they are in there for a few seconds, you will want to use a pair of wooden chopsticks or your slotted spoon to move them around on occasion, as they will start to clump together here and there. Keep moving them around in the oil and you will discover the chips are starting to get more and more crispy. As soon as they are golden brown, crisp and you don’t feel any soft spots, they are done. Drain and place on a paper-towel lined baking sheet.
At this point, while the chips are still hot and a little wet with oil, you want to hit them with the seasoning. What you use is up to you. Plain salt is great. One of my favorites is just a little salt and a mixture of half Masala powder and half Indian chili powder. This combination yields a nice mixture of flavor and heat. There are countless other things you can put on potato chips, of course, like Old Bay, sugar, chives, onion powder, or whatever else you can manage to sprinkle.
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