Chettinad Urulai Roast | Potato Roast

July 28, 2022mayurisjikoni




Chettinad Urulai Roast | Potato Roast is simply baby potatoes roasted in a pan with freshly ground Chettinad Masala or Spice Mixture. It easily can be enjoyed as a starter dish, a snack or as a side dish which is usually served with rice or roti and a lentil curry. Hubby and I decided to enjoy it as a starter.

Actually, it was more like a meal for us. Just recovering from Covid, Furthermore, I didn’t have the energy to cook meals that took too long. Made the masala and boiled the potatoes the previous day. Put away the potatoes in the fridge as I got tired and went to sleep. Next day roasting them in the pan was easy. Though our throats were hurting, we both felt like something chatpata and a bit spicy after all the balnd soups and khichdis. We enjoyed Chettinad Urulai Roast and then had a bowlful of yogurt to cool the tummy a bit.


A Bit About The Group:

In brief, every month a new theme is chosen by members. Then, the participants are paired up. In turn, they give each other 2 secret ingredients to use in their recipe which is prepared fitting the theme.

As soon as their dish is ready, the photo is shared on our Facebook group. Then, other participants try and guess the secret ingredients. Towards the end of the month the recipe is shared on the group. Additionally, members get to know each other and interact with them.



This Month’s Theme

When Kalyani who blogs at Sizzling Tastebuds suggested Chettinad Cuisine, I nearly didn’t participate as I thought I would not get time to prepare a dish. Since June 21st till July 10th was in Calgary as hubby’s niece was getting married. I did a lot of cooking for the guests but didn’t get time to take photos of all what I cooked. Oh well, weddings do have a tendency to get super busy.

Anyway, I had requested my Co- Admin Renu to add my name as I knew I would have time after we got back. I didn’t want to miss preparing something for this exciting cuisine. Unfortunately, lost nearly a week due to Covid. With just hubby and myself and not much options of vegetarian take away, had no option but to get out of bed and cook simple meals for us.

Coming back to Kalyani, I can’t wait to try out her Chettinad Vellai Kurma recipe. This is a mixed vegetable cooked in coconut Chettinad Style.

My Partners This Month

My first partner this month is Kalyani. She suggested that I use the secret ingredients asafoetida and fennel seeds. In return I asked to use rice flour and fennel seeds. I used asafoetida for tempering and fennel seeds in the spice mixture. Using the ingredients I suggested, Kalyani has prepared a delicious vegan curry – Chettinad Kaigari Mandi.


My Second Partner

My second partner is Renu who blogs at Cook With Renu. As I already had my secret ingredients and she didn’t have a partner, I suggested she use oil and garlic. Using those ingredients she has prepared a lipsmacking, mouthwatering Vara Milagai Chutney using red chillis and tomato.

What Is Chettinad Cuisine?

Chettinad Cuisine is from the Chettinad region of the South Indian State Tamil Nadu. What sets this cuisine apart from the rest of Tamil Nadu or other surrounding regions is the generous use of a variety of freshly ground spice mixtures. More aromatic spice mixtures also use the spices Black Stone Flower (kalpasi/dagad phool) and Kapok Buds (dried flower buds of kapok tree).

Rich And Spicy

The curry base or gravy is rich with the use of fresh spices like ginger, garlic and onions along with fresh coconut and tomatoes. The spice mixtures add the aroma and flavours. Chettinad food tends to be more on the hot side, chilli wise. No wonder buttermilk is usually served with the meal.

Both vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes are widely prepared in this cuisine. Those living around the coast tend to use crabs, prawns and fish more often. Those living in the interior use chicken, fowl, and other meats but not beef and pork.

Dry Region

The cuisine of Chettinad is greatly influenced by the nature of the region, which is a dry, arid and hot region. As a result they use a lot of dried meat, seafood and vegetables in their cuisine.


The Chettairs mainly were owners of  businesses or were bankers and moneylenders. During the 19th Century, they hosted their British guests often and were greatly influenced by their food culture.  From meats, seafood and dried vegetables, Chettinad Cuisine has many different dishes to offer to all. Usually the curries are served with rice or rice based preparations like  Appams, Idlis, Idiyappams, Adais and Dosais. The Chettinad Cuisine is a total contrast to the Tamil Brahmin Cuisine which tends to be much simpler, less spicier and no meat or fish is used.


Chettinad Urulai Roast | Potato Roast

There are so many vegetarian dishes I would like to try from this cuisine. I also want to try out their version of egg curry but that will have to wait as I was not able to get fresh coconut, black stone flower and kapok bud spices. I settled for potato roast as the spices required for that dish is easily available in my pantry. Also on the list to try is Garlic Rasam. And I don’t regret at all as this dish has become one of our favourites. In fact, I have prepared it thrice within a month!

Some South Indian Dishes That May Interest You

Coconut Rasam

Mysore Rasam

Kuzhi Paniyaram


Paal Kozhukkatai

Kodo Millet Pongal



Akki Roti

Undi/ Rice Dumplings is a famous Udupi breakfast dish. In fact it is also known as Pundi Gatti or Oondi. Basically, rice dumplings are steamed and served with a chutney or sambhar. Sometimes coconut oil drizzled over it is enough. It is a simple, healthy, gluten free, vegan breakfast to enjoy.
Check out this recipe
Idli Podi/ Milagai is a flavorful condiment made from roasted lentils, spices and seeds. Also known as Gun Powder, Chutney Podi, Idli Karam Podi, its so easy to prepare at home.
Check out this recipe
Instant Semolina Idli/ Rava Idli is a soft, fluffy and moist steamed breakfast or snack option. Healthy, filling and nutritious, it is so easy to make semolina, rava or sooji idli. 
Check out this recipe
Idli Sambar is a fluffy soft, melt in the mouth fermented and steamed breakfast, served with a delicious, piping hot lentil stew and topped with fresh coconut chutney.
Check out this recipe


Ingredients Required For Chettinad Urulai Roast | Potato Roast

  • Baby Potatoes – boiled in salted water and peeled. If the potatoes are big, cut them into halves. Alternately, boil and peel big potatoes. Cut them into big chunks.
  • Water – enough water to boil the potatoes.
  • Oil and Ghee – for tempering and roasting the potatoes. Use a combination of both as ghee adds a delicious flavour. Omit if you want a vegan preparation.
  • Mustard Seeds – rai. For tempering.
  • Urad Dal – Split black grams, the white one without the skin.
  • Dry Chilli – 1 or 2 for tempering.
  • Curry Leaves – for tempering.
  • Turmeric Powder – haldi, hardar.
  • Asafoetida – hing. For gluten free version omit it or buy hing which has no wheat flour mixed in it.
  • Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder – this chilli powder is not hot. So you can use any red chilli powder that is not too hot.
  • Salt – to add to the water for boiling the potatoes and for the main preparation. Add according to your taste. Also remember that the potatoes are boiled in salted water.
  • Fresh Coriander – chopped


Ingredients For The Spice Mixture

  • Cinnamon Stick – taj. You need a 2 inch stick.
  • Cloves – laving, lavang
  • Peppercorns – black. Mari, sabut kali mirch.
  • Fennel Seeds – valiyari, saunf
  • Sesame Seeds – tal, simsim.
  • Cumin Seeds – jeera, jiru.
  • Coriander Seeds – dhana. Sabut dhana.
  • Dry Red Chillis – any that are hot. Like Byadagi Chilli, Gundu, Guntur or Jwala are just a few examples.
  • Chana Dal – split chickpeas, roasted.
  • Urad Dal – split black gram.
  • Coconut – grated. Use either fresh, frozen or dried.



Watch How To Prepare Chettinad Urulai Roast | Potato Roast





Chettinad Urulai Roast | Potato Roast is simply baby potatoes roasted in a pan with freshly ground Chettinad Masala or Spice Mixture. It easily can be enjoyed as a starter dish, a snack or as a side dish which is usually served with rice or roti and a lentil curry. Hubby and I decided to enjoy it as a starter.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Starter
Cuisine Chettinad, Indian
Servings 2



  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp chana dal
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 3-4 whole dry red chillis
  • 2 tbsp coconut grated


  • 500 g baby potatoes
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 2 tsp salt divided
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1-2 whole dry red chillis
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • ½ tsp urad dal
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida
  • ½ -1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 2-3 tbsp Chettinad Spice Mixture
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh coriander chopped



  • Put a wide pan over low heat. Allow it to become a bit hot.
  • Add chana dal and dry roast for 1 minute or till it begins to appear light pink.
  • Add the urad dal. Roast for a minute or till you get the aroma of urad dal.
  • Add cinnamon, cloves and peppercorns. Roast for 30 - 40 seconds.
  • Add the rest of the spices - fennel, coriander, cumin, sesame seeds and red chillis.
  • Roast the spices, mixing all the time for 1 minute or till you get the aroma of the spices and a bit of the smoke comes out from the pan.
  • Take the pan off the heat. Add the coconut and roast till it becomes light brown in colour.
  • Remove all the spice mixture into a plate and allow it to cool completely.
  • Don't leave the spices in the pan as the pan is hot and it will burn the spices.
  • Grind the spices in a spice grinder into a powder that is not too fine or too coarse.


  • Heat ghee and oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
  • Add mustard seeds. As soon as they begin to sizzle, add the urad dal.
  • Stir fry till the urad dal becomes light pink.
  • Add dry red chillis, curry leaves.
  • Add asafoetida and turmeric powder.
  • Add the boiled and peeled potatoes and mix well.
  • Add salt. Allow the potatoes to heat up and roast them for at least 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • When the potatoes appear roasted, add the Kashmiri red chilli powder and the Chettinad Spice Mixture.
  • Mix the potatoes well till they are coated with the spice mixture. Make sure the heat is medium to low as you don't want the spices to burn.
  • Add chopped coriander, mix and serve immediately.
Keyword Chettinad Potato Roast, how to make roasted potatoes, Chettinad style, Potato Roast Recipe

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  • Kalyani

    August 6, 2022 at 1:39 am

    5 stars
    one of our fav side dishes / snack Mayuri. made perfectly and looks lipsmacking too!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 6, 2022 at 1:57 pm

      Thanks Kalyani.

  • Priya Iyer

    August 14, 2022 at 1:44 am

    5 stars
    There cannot be too many recipes for potatoes, at least not for me! This Chettinad Urulai Roast looks gorgeous. ❤️ I can imagine just how much the freshly ground spice mix must have elevated the taste of the curry. Bliss with some hot rasam rice and a dollop of ghee. Slurp! 🙂

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 15, 2022 at 3:33 pm

      Thanks Priya, we didn’t reach the rasam and ghee stage with these delicious potatoes…hopefully we will. They just disappear as a starter or snack option.

  • Renu

    August 14, 2022 at 9:19 am

    5 stars
    I always like the use of fresh masala and this is one perfect recipe for using it. Potatoes would be so delicious and flavourful with this special Chettinad masala. Love the beautifully coated roast potato bowl.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 15, 2022 at 3:31 pm

      Thanks Renu, the whole charm about this recipe is the freshly ground spice mixture and that each potato gets coated with it.

  • Seema Sriram

    August 14, 2022 at 6:12 pm

    5 stars
    Mayuri, we made this as a part of our Sunday menu. Needless to say, it was over even before lunch started as we were constantly nibbling. The masala is so tasty and the potatoes the perfect balance to it.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 15, 2022 at 3:29 pm

      Seema am so glad you all enjoyed the recipe. And you are so right it is a perfect balance of spices and potatoes.

  • Radha

    August 15, 2022 at 1:05 pm

    5 stars
    Potato is one of our favorites! The spice mixture sounds amazing and the flavors sound outstanding. This mixture makes it stand out from our every day curries. Excellent choice for the theme and you have captured the essence of the theme well!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 15, 2022 at 3:27 pm

      Thank you so much Radha, a simple and delicious dish. Am glad you liked my post.

  • Narmadha

    August 15, 2022 at 2:17 pm

    5 stars
    Chettinad urulai roast looks too tempting and with freshly grounded chettinad spice mixture, this is a perfect side dish. Would love to enjoy it with hot rasam rice.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 16, 2022 at 7:05 pm

      Thank you so much Narmadha. Am sure they will be perfect with rasam and rice.

  • Priya Vj

    August 17, 2022 at 12:39 pm

    5 stars
    Urulai roast has turned out so perfectly. I wish that I can just lay my hands now on this bowl and pair it up with chilled curd rice. I love the idea of using freshly ground masala in most chettinaad recipes, which really elevates the taste .

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 17, 2022 at 1:27 pm

      Thanks Priya, agree with you that freshly ground spices elevates the taste of any dish. Sounds like a fantastic idea to have urulai roast with curd rice.

  • Poonam Bachhav

    August 24, 2022 at 2:10 am

    5 stars
    Chettinad style baby potato roast looks so delicious especially with that flavorful spice powder going in !

    1. mayurisjikoni

      August 25, 2022 at 4:11 pm

      Thank you so much Poonam, the homemade spice mixture does make the dish special.

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