Chettinad baby potato fry (varuval)

Varuval means fry. I have fried the baby potatoes in Chettinad style, which gives you different taste and flavour. Baby potatoes or new potatoes are small in size and can be used whole. You can make curry or fry it. Dum aloo is also good to make using these baby potatoes. The sambar onions (shallots or small onions) which has a sweet flavour gives good taste to Chettinad baby potato fry. This time I have used pepper corns and red chilli to give pepper flavour and aroma. Chettinad baby potato is a dry dish and goes well with the plain rice and sambar or rasam with ghee drizzled on top. It is spicy as per my taste. I have served Chettinad baby potato fry with mango rice.

Preparation time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 30 mins

Cuisine: South Indian (Chettinad style)

Serves: 2

Spiciness: Medium


  • Oil – 2 to 3 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 15
  • Dry chillies (long, broken) – 3
  • Shallots (sambar onions) – 150 to 170 gms
  • Potatoes (baby potatoes) – 300 gms
  • Roast

  • Urad dal – 2 tsp
  • Dry Red chilli – 1 or 2
  • Black Pepper (peppercorns) – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 10
  • Salt – as required


  • Peel the skin of the baby potatoes and onion (shallots). Keep them aside.
  • Heat a pan or tava, add urad dal, dry red chilli (remove the seeds), curry leaves and black pepper, roast on simmer until light brown in colour and a good aroma comes.
  • Add the spices in a spice mixer and grind to a fine powder.
  • Take a kadai or any vessel and add oil. When hot, add mustard seeds. Let it splutter, then add shallots (not chopped) and curry leaves.
  • Cook the whole shallots, until light transparent colour comes on it.
  • Add potatoes, sauté for 2 to 3 mins on a medium flame and cook on simmer until it is cooked by closing the lid.
  • \
  • In between stir it, see to it that shallots are not burnt.
  • Add the ground spice mixture, salt and mix well, simmer the flame for 4 to 5 mins, by closing the lid.
  • The potatoes should be well coated with the spice masala.
  • Add coriander leaves and sauté for 2 mins on medium flame and switch it off.


  • You can add boiled potatoes, immediately after suateing shallots and let the potatoes be roasted with shallots for a few mins on medium flame until light brown colour comes on it.
  • If baby potatoes are not available, you can cook with ordinary potatoes also.
  • You can avoid red chilli if you want.
  • If adding boiled potatoes, the shallots will not get much roasted as raw potatoes will take time and has to be cooked with the shallots. But both tasted good for me.

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