These dainty potato baskets are made with potato straw and filled with a crunchy mixture of stir-fried bean sprouts and capsicum. Selecting the right kind of potatoes is the most vital step in making these baskets. Use a variety of potato that is used to make wafers. Some vendors even call them “Old Potatoes”. This variety of potato has more starch which results in crisper baskets and these potatoes do not even brown easily. Old tea strainers which are made of metal can be used to make these baskets. You can make these baskets a day or so in advance and store them in an air-tight container.

Preparation Time: 15 mins.   Cooking Time: 40 mins.    Makes 10 baskets.
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For the potato baskets
2 cups thickly grated potatoes (old potatoes)
oil for deep-frying

For the filling
2 cups bean sprouts
1/2 cup red or yellow capsicum, finely chopped
1/4 tsp pepper powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp dried ginger powder (soonth)
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried mango powder (amchur)
1/2 tsp roasted cumin seeds (jeera) powder
2 tbsp chopped coriander (dhania)
1 tsp butter
salt to taste

Other ingredients
1/2 cup green chutney

For the potato baskets
Soak the grated potatoes in cold water for 10 to 15 minutes.
Drain and wash in running water for about 5 to 7 minutes.
Drain and wipe dry using a dry absorbent cloth.
Divide the grated potatoes into 10 equal portions.
Place each portion of the grated potatoes on a 37 mm. (1½”) diameter metal tea strainer and top with a second strainer.

Hold firmly and deep fry in oil on a medium flame till the basket is golden brown. Remove the strainer from the oil, invert it and tap lightly to unmould the basket.

Repeat steps 5 and 6 to make 9 more baskets. Store in an air-tight container.

For the filling
Heat the butter and add the pepper powder, chilli powder, ginger powder and sugar and sauté for a few seconds.
Add the bean sprouts, capsicum, amchur, cumin seed powder, coriander and salt and cook for about a minute. Keep aside.

How to proceed
Put 3 to 4 tablespoons of the filling into each potato basket.
Top with a spoonful of the green chutney.
Arrange on a serving plate and serve immediately.
Old potatoes or chip / wafer potatoes are required to make crisp potato baskets.
It is wise to invest in half a dozen metal strainers, once you are comfortable with the recipe so that the frying gets done quicker.