Potato salad with peas & Persian spices

Potato salad with peas & Persian spices

New Feast
Alan Benson

This is not your standard potato salad, drowned in gloopy mayonnaise. In fact it’s a salad only inasmuch as we like to serve it at room temperature! But it’s one of our very favourite quick-and-easy dishes. It’s a treat for the eyes too, with its vibrant greens and yellows, and the palate-jolting flavours really pack a punch.


Quantity Ingredient
500g small new potatoes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 shallot, very finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed with ½ teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 small dried red chilli, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
120g fresh or frozen baby peas
1/3 cup shredded coriander leaves
lime wedges, yoghurt and warm flatbread, to serve


  1. Boil the potatoes in salted water for 18 minutes, or until just tender. Drain in a colander and leave them to dry. When cool enough to handle, peel away and discard the skins. Cut the potatoes into 1 cm dice.
  2. Heat the oil in a small frying pan and fry the mustard seeds over a high heat for a minute or until they start to splutter. Add the shallot and garlic paste, followed by the spices, and cook for around 10 minutes, stirring every now and then, until the onion is soft and translucent.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the peas in briskly boiling water for 2–3 minutes, then drain them well.
  4. Add the potatoes and peas to the spicy onion mixture and stir everything together gently but thoroughly. Cook over a gentle heat for 2–3 minutes, then taste and adjust the seasoning if need be. Remove the pan from the heat and cool to room temperature. Stir in the coriander and serve with lime wedges, yoghurt and plenty of warm flatbread.


  • In truth, chillies are used rather sparingly in Persian cooking, and really only feature in the south of the country, where the Indian influence is stronger. Use more, or fewer, depending on your preference.
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