February 1, 2012

Baked Garlic Curry Fries

by IsaChandra

Serves 4
Time: 45 minutes

Curry Fries

There’s a falafel joint down the street from me that makes these amazing curry fries and you can smell them from a block away. They are so tantalizing, but baked fries are sooo much healthier and totally quench my curry fry craving.

These baked fries do take a bit of work. You need to parboil them, plunge them into ice water and then bake. But I wouldn’t post this recipe if it weren’t totally worth it! It’s everything a fry should be; a creamy interior while crispy on the outside. And it’s one of those things that, if you do it once, the next time it won’t be such a big deal and the time after that even less so. Looking over the directions I’m surprised at how much work it looks like when in reality it is so easy!

The type of curry powder you use is important. I use the Penzey’s sweet curry blend. It’s fairly mild with a little kick, and not bitter like some curry powders can be. Oh, and expect yellow garlic fingers for a few hours because you have to handle the curry powder with your hands. Welcome to my world.

Curry fries

PS If you just want plain old baked fries, skip the curry step. Just drizzle on the olive oil and salt and you’re good to go! You can also use chili powder or Cajun spice or any spice blend you’re totally in love with.

Oh and also, don’t use sweet potatoes or yams here. They’re much too soft and will turn to mush if parboiled. I find that simply baking sweet potato fries works well. This method is just for russet potatoes.

1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes
2 tablespoons mild curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Microplaned garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil

Organic cooking spray

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In the meantime, you’ll prep everything else and preheat oven to 425 F.

You want “steak fry” slices. So slice them about 1/4 inch thick and 3/4 inch wide.

Now prep your workspace. Fill a big bowl with ice water. Lay a kitchen towel on the counter and line it with paper towels. You’ll be plunging the fries into the ice water after boiling, and then placing them on the towel to blot dry.

Once the water is boiling, add the potatoes and cook for 3 minutes, no longer than that or they will get mushy so put on a timer if you need to. Now drain the potatoes and immediately plunge them into the ice bath to stop them from further cooking.

Once completely cool, place potatoes in a single layer on the towel to drain. Blot the tops with a paper towel as well, so that they’re mostly dry. A little moisture is necessary, though, to get the coating to stick. You just don’t want a puddle.

Pour the ice water out of the bowl and wipe it dry. Scoop the curry powder into the bowl and mix in the salt. Now use a microplane grater to grate about a tablespoon of garlic into the bowl (just eyeball it.) Alternatively, you can finely mince the garlic until it’s almost a paste. Drizzle in the oil and mix with a fork.

We’re in the home stretch now! Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Toss a handful of potato slices into the curry powder and remove each one, rubbing in the curry powder. Do this in about 4 batches, being careful not to get huge chunks of curry on any one potato. It should be evenly distributed amongst the fries.

Place fries in a single layer, spray with a little extra cooking spray, bake for 8 to 12 minutes on each side until golden brown and tender inside. If you’d like extra browning, place under the broiler for a few minutes, keeping a close eye. Serve hot!

  • February 1, 2012 at 6:50 pm: Tiffany

    Yum. Can’t wait to try these.

  • February 1, 2012 at 7:01 pm: Chandra Nicole

    I love oven fries and these look delicious!

  • February 1, 2012 at 7:08 pm: Therese

    They look delicious! Very much looking forward to making these… I only have convenience store brand curry powder at the moment (also, living in UK so probably can’t get hands on Penzey’s) – do you know which spices feature most prominently in your curry powder and whether a home-made approximation can be made?

  • February 1, 2012 at 7:26 pm: Jen

    oh yay! those look super good. Great tip on the ice bath! My last parboiled bunch ended up mushy… I definitely cooked too long. Never again!

  • February 1, 2012 at 8:29 pm: Giovanni H

    Is the tbs. of olive oil necessary, Isa? I only ask cause I’m trying to watch my waistline. Could we just give the fries a quick spritz of oil from a mist can instead? Thank you for always being helpful!

    • February 2, 2012 at 12:38 am: IsaChandra

      Yeah, you can totally use spray instead.

  • February 2, 2012 at 1:52 am: Mattheworbit

    These looks great, and I haven’t tried that technique before.. I wonder if these can overtake my other favourite fries/wedges – the smoky ones from The Complete Guide to Vegan Food substitutions? I also wonder if it’s possible to get a more smoky curry powder to use in these, or perhaps to add some smoked paprika. Yum! What a great idea.

  • February 2, 2012 at 2:15 am: Mae

    I happened to be planning dinner when this showed up on my FB feed, so I made it tonight, with creole seasoning instead of curry (curry next time though for sure!). The teen entered the kitchen as I was pouring the potatoes into the ice bath, and asked, with a touch of horror, what I was doing to the potatoes. I told her – Isa said this is how you do it. Her response? “That’s some ‘Mommy Dearest’ shiz right there.” She kind of had a point. But dang these are good. PPK FTW again.

  • February 2, 2012 at 3:12 am: Bear

    I’m making these right now and I’m a bear rawwrrrrrrr!!!!!!

  • February 2, 2012 at 4:18 am: Poppy

    These look so good and Penzey’s Sweet Curry Powder is my favorite and I have plenty on hand :) Can’t wait to try these!

  • February 2, 2012 at 5:20 pm: Jecka

    Wow, those look amazing!

    However… what is “microplaned” garlic?

  • February 2, 2012 at 6:42 pm: db

    Holy moly, those look awesome. Excellent timing for Super Bowl snacks.

  • February 2, 2012 at 8:35 pm: Lindsay J.

    These look good! I also want to try it with sweet potatoes. I bet that would be great too.

  • February 2, 2012 at 9:27 pm: maita

    Whoa Lindsay I was just thinking the exact same thing! Sweet potato + garam masala. Dip in chutney…

    • February 2, 2012 at 9:38 pm: IsaChandra

      I said this before in the comments, but sweet potatoes are not a good candidate for this method. They’re much too soft, better to just bake them without parboiling.

      • February 2, 2012 at 9:53 pm: IsaChandra

        I’ve added it to the recipe, so hopefully people don’t miss it!

  • February 2, 2012 at 10:53 pm: William

    Alright you twisted my arm Isa. I am about to go stock up on supplies before we get that snow on Saturday and even though I think I will try this recipe, as well as a few others, during the snow storm, I am going to stop at Amsterdam for a spicy falafel and fries while I am out.

    I have not been there in quite a while anyway. In the summer if you sit on the patio of that bar right next door the people will usually deliver the food to your table when you order from Amsterdam.

  • February 4, 2012 at 12:31 am: britt

    Just in time! I am making “fish” and Chips on sunday night! I am even more excited now.

  • February 4, 2012 at 12:51 am: devosmee

    Am currently demolishing a plate of these – no sweet curry powder, but the garlic and olive oil combo is delicious…so glad they’re baked. This way I don’t feel bad about eating so many. Thanks Isa!

  • February 5, 2012 at 2:21 am: pj Maddox

    If You want to chop Garlic use the Chef’s trick, slice a bit then dump Salt on it and chop away, you can get tiny tiny chipped garlic that does not stick together. If it was me I would just rub this on the potatoes and then sprinkle them with the curry powder, much neater and evenly sprinkled.

  • February 5, 2012 at 5:29 pm: Bonnie

    Making these tonight along with the Beet Burgers. Assume the potatoes are unpeeled? Thanks, Isa!

  • February 5, 2012 at 10:51 pm: Kate

    Made these to ight, although with a slightly different method. Inlays and hubby loved them, I found them quite bitter. That said, no one can say ISA didn’t warn me that the type of curry powder is important here. I used what. My inlays had, the regular cheap stuff. Next time, I will prepare in advance!

  • February 6, 2012 at 1:04 am: Bonnie

    These fries are phenomenal! I ended up not peeling which was a good call. They go beautifully with the beet burgers (also great) and looking forward to trying with other spice blends, too. Thanks so much…

  • February 6, 2012 at 4:56 pm: tuva

    Made these last night to accompany The Leman’s chicken-wings-debauch. Along with being quite delicious, I was very pleased that the spice mixture was barely enough to cover all of the potatoes; I’m always annoyed when I wind up with unusable leftover ingredients. I used the hottest curry powder that our local spice merchant carries, the same curry that I use in *everything*, and it was just what we wanted. Guacamole and too much Double Chocolate Stout made the Super Bowl almost intelligible. Thanks so much.

  • February 7, 2012 at 2:00 am: Jacki

    b/c I’m lazy, I used garlic powder. but for the curry powder, I used Jamaican Curry Powder. OMG!! finger-licking good! def making these again!

    • February 7, 2012 at 4:33 am: IsaChandra

      I love Jamaican Curry Powder!

  • February 13, 2012 at 1:17 am: Renee' Barnes

    Making these tonight. They smell awesome, and really not that much work! Will post to let you know how I like the taste! Thanks, Isa!

  • February 13, 2012 at 2:03 am: Renee' Barnes

    Oh. MY. These are amazing! I especially love all the little crispity crunchity little pieces of garlic. Will definitely do again. May also experiment with different spices. I am thinking that smoked paprika would be tasty instead of curry, though the curry is tasty! Thanks for a great lower fat “fry fix”!

  • February 18, 2012 at 7:16 am: erin

    These look yummy. I’ve been thinking of adding curry powder to salads and now I can add them to fries!

  • February 20, 2012 at 1:32 am: Gary Loewenthal

    I made these tonight and they totally rocked! Delicious and not my parents’ fries!

  • February 21, 2012 at 1:29 am: Heidi

    What is microplaned garlic? garlic powder????

    • February 21, 2012 at 4:39 am: IsaChandra

      Garlic grated on a microplane! You can also mince it into a near paste.

  • March 6, 2012 at 5:36 am: Anna

    These look a-MAZ-ing. I’m excited to try them out!

    Thanks for the post, looking forward to more awesomeness.

  • March 20, 2012 at 3:41 am: Celeste


    I mistakenly thought that Yukon Golds were in order for this recipe, and so got some. But obviously I’m wrong. Can I sub them with a shorter/no boiling time? Should I bake them not as long? Thanks.

  • March 23, 2012 at 7:37 pm: George Donnelly

    Thanks. This is excellent and my 5 yo loved it as well. Result: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3445578899409

  • April 1, 2012 at 5:44 pm: Jenn

    starting to make these riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight……..now! :)

  • April 2, 2012 at 12:14 am: Kendra

    Great twist on regular old fries

  • April 9, 2012 at 11:51 pm: amy

    Oh gosh, I’m so excited to try these. Amsterdam’s curry fries are my favorite, but hopefully these will be my new favorite!

  • April 13, 2012 at 1:13 am: JayKayTee

    Nothing wrong with micro planing the garlic but you could save yourself a step by dropping in a few cloves of raw garlic in some OVOO for a few days then adding the garlic oil to the steak fries. I always have some of this heavenly aromatic oil on hand for dressings, sautes and oven fries.

  • April 14, 2012 at 1:32 am: Holly

    Hey Isa! I am such a big fan of yours. I have three of your cookbooks. I am writing on this one, because I was so pissed about healthy oven fries. Your recipe works!!! No burnt ones in this recipe. Does parboiling work for the non-steak type, match-stick type french fry? I am so tired of Alexia taking over my life, and thought if I could just master parboiling and baking, maybe I would finally get some GOOD homemade fries on the table.

    …by the way, I should tell you, we have staples of yours. We make your cilantro pesto pasta with artichokes and caramelized onions at least twice a month. I make a soup recipe from your awesome lowfat cookbook consistently. Your cookbook (Veganomicon) was the first one I bought for vegan cooking, and it isn’t going anywhere, thanks for all you do Isa!!! Love ya!!

  • July 30, 2012 at 5:28 pm: Lexi

    these look amazing! I will be devouring them very soon…

  • August 30, 2012 at 11:35 pm: athena

    I made these tonight, but instead of curry powder I used smoked paprika and the finely minced garlic. They came out great! I know a few people mentioned using smoked paprika and I’d recommend it! Next time I’m going to try to get them a little crunchier by broiling longer.

  • October 24, 2012 at 6:37 pm: Marianna

    I would suggest using a clean lint free cloth towel in place of paper towels, since paper towels are not meant for cooking and often contain chemicals such as formadihyde.

  • October 25, 2012 at 5:14 am: shiya

    omg now i know what i can do with the remaining curry powder i have!!!!

  • December 18, 2012 at 3:24 am: Rachie Pants

    I made these this afternoon! So incredibly yummy! I’ve done oven baked fries before, but I never knew about the parboil trick. And despite the warning I did use sweet potatoes. I just boiled them for 2 min. instead of the full 3min. and they turned out amazing!

  • December 24, 2012 at 1:33 am: MinnieMay9

    I tried this, though I didn’t make them exactly as written. I didn’t have enough curry powder to double the recipe. Instead of making the mixture and tossing the potatoes in it, I sprinkled them with the ingredients, tossed by hand, and then gave another dusting of curry powder.
    These were sooo wonderful I couldn’t stop eating them! The par-boiling makes such a huge difference! I’m never just baking them again!

  • December 31, 2012 at 2:23 pm: Michele Berger

    I made these last night & they were incredible! I used Old Bay seasoning – can’t get enough of that stuff!

  • March 13, 2013 at 12:01 am: Jodi

    Um yeah! This looks like dinner tonight! Thanks for the recipe, can’t wait till they come out of the oven!

  • March 18, 2013 at 5:07 pm: justine

    what the heck is microplaned garlic? i’ve been in a cars that ‘microplaned’.. didnt know garlic could do that too

  • May 19, 2013 at 2:53 am: Todd

    A microplane is a very fine grater. Look for them online or in cooking supply stores. I have one I got for zesting a lemon.

    Cars hydroplane. Be careful in wet weather.

    Mmm, these are tasty! Thanks!

  • June 4, 2013 at 12:19 am: VeganMomma

    We cheat in our house and dump all spices, oil and potatoes (after boiling/bathing) into a large ziplock and gently shake. Clean hands and the kids help. Thank you for this one! Yum as always.

  • December 31, 2013 at 2:34 pm: Jina

    All I have to say is thank for posting this I’m in love !!!

  • January 10, 2014 at 11:47 am: Sheila

    I am hoping I can do this ahead. I want to have everything finished, but the baking. I plan to try that today, leaving the prepared potatoes on the counter until just before they need to be baked and served. Fingers crossed.

  • January 31, 2014 at 2:12 am: SarahA

    Wondering if anyone (Sheila?) has had success doing the parboil/ice bath bit a few hours or so before baking these…they’re on the menu for Sunday’s game but since I’ll be making them at a friends’ house I’d like to do the most of the prep ahead of time. Thanks!

  • February 5, 2014 at 1:04 am: SarahA

    Just wanted to follow-up…I did the parboil/ice bath steps a few hours ahead (just stored the potatoes in a container in the fridge until it was time to coat and bake) with yummy results. Can’t wait to use the rest of the 5-lb bag of russets sitting on my counter to experiment with different spice combinations. Thanks again, Isa!

  • August 1, 2014 at 1:30 pm: Josh

    I made these last night with leftover potatoes as an afterthought and they trumped the main dish I made in flavor and satisfaction. Amazing!