This potato salad recipe with peas, fresh herbs and fragrant spices makes a bright, aromatic salad inspired by some of my favourite potato salads and green herb salads. It comes together quickly – you’ll spend more time waiting for the potatoes to boil then cool down than you’ll spend cooking – and is a fantastic side to so many dishes.
My potato salad recipe with peas, fresh herbs and aromatic spices makes a fragrant potato salad that’s something of a fusion salad. It’s inspired by a perfumed herb salad by chef Chalee Kader of one of our favourite Bangkok restaurants, a zesty Burmese potato salad, a Persian salad by Lucy and Greg Malouf, a Japanese potato salad, and a Russian potato salad, and it’s absolutely delicious.
A lover of potato salads, I’ve been pondering whether I could combine a potato salad with Chalee Kader’s herb salad since we first fell in love with it at his restaurant, 100 Mahaseth, some years ago, but I didn’t think it would work. It took a few other potato salads, each of which provided food for thought, to convince me it would. Fortunately, it did, and now I’m hooked.
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Now let me tell you about my potato salad recipe with peas, fresh herbs and aromatic spices.
Potato Salad Recipe with Peas, Fresh Herbs and Fragrant Spices
I don’t know why it took me so long to make this potato salad recipe with peas, fresh herbs and fragrant spices. As an Australian with Russian heritage, I’m naturally a lover of potato salads. Growing up in Sydney, every family meal seemed to feature a potato salad.
At my Russian grandparents’ house, baboushka would make one or two of several beloved Russian potato salads for shared family meals. Alongside baba’s classic garden salad, there’d be either a pink beetroot and potato salad or the Russian potato salad known as the Olivier salad.
For family gatherings at Christmas and holidays at my Australian grandparents’ home, my nanna made what we considered to be a classic Australian potato salad, a creamy potato salad with onion, boiled eggs, peas, and bacon. The perfect accompaniment to her succulent roast chickens with stuffing.
And for barbecues in our backyard with friends, mum might whip up any one of those potato salads, or this potato and salmon salad, but there would always be a potato salad served with the steaks and sausages, green salad… and, um, baked potatoes wrapped in foil and cooked in the coals.
Despite dreaming about the potential of a potato salad recipe with peas, fresh fragrant herbs and aromatic spices for so long, it took testing a couple of potato salad recipes in recent months for me to give this some serious consideration.
It was the Burmese potato salad from my favourite Burmese cookbook, Mi Mi Khaing’s Cook and Entertain the Burmese Way, published in 1978, that convinced me that the fresh mint would work. I adore dill and coriander in potato salads, but I really wasn’t certain about mint.
Then, while flicking through some Australian Gourmet Traveller magazines a few weeks ago, I happened upon a gorgeous green potato salad recipe with peas and Persian spices by Greg and Lucy Malouf, which featured similar dried spices and techniques to Burmese cooking, and fresh coriander, and I was inspired.
That recipe was an extract from Lucy and Greg Malouf’s book New Feast. While Greg Malouf says in the recipe intro in the magazine that “this is not your standard potato salad, drowned in gloopy mayonnaise…” I happen to love those potato salads.
I have used a little mayonnaise – it’s definitely not “gloopy” and nor is the salad drowning in it, along with olive oil and a squeeze of lime juice (feel free to use lemon juice) and combined it to give it a texture closer to that of the Japanese salad.
I’ve also bumped up the spice, and sprinkled on some chilli flakes at the end for colour as much as a kick of heat. I think it’s really delish. Let me know what you think.
I only have a few tips to making this fragrant potato salad recipe with peas, fresh herbs and aromatic spices.
Tips to Making this Potato Salad Recipe with Peas, Fresh Herbs and Fragrant Spices
As usual, just a few quick tips to making this green potato salad recipe with peas, fragrant fresh herbs and aromatic spices.
Only boil the potatoes until just tender – a skewer should slide in and out easily – because you’re going to pop them back on the heat near the end when they’ll soften a little more. My potatoes were ready at 16 minutes, but depending on their size, your’s may take a little less time or a little longer.
Pounding the garlic into a paste is the Burmese-Indian influence, but you could mince or very finely chop the garlic.
I use a wok for everything, including to fry the spices for this recipe, but you could use a fry pan or skillet, but note that it will need to be largish as you’ll be briefly returning the potatoes to the pan.
When it comes to the garden peas, you could use fresh or frozen. If using the latter, don’t boil them. Defrost the amount needed then pop them back in the pan/wok with the potatoes.
You want them to start firm and bright green, not soft and dark green. If that’s still too firm for you, you could pop them in the wok/pan a minute or two before the potatoes, quickly blanch them, or even microwave them for a minute or two.
Make sure to taste the salad before serving and adjust the seasoning to suit your palate.
I like to set this salad at room temperature. If you’re currently experiencing a scorching summer in the southern hemisphere you may want to refrigerate it, or if you’re in the north and looking for a winter salad, you could always serve it warm.
Whatever temperature you serve it at, make sure to add the mayonnaise, virgin olive oil, fresh lime/lemon juice, and fresh herbs just before serving, combine well, and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Potato Salad Recipe with Peas, Fresh Herbs and Fragrant Spices
- 500 g baby potatoes skins on
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tbsp neutral cooking oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 2 small purple shallots finely diced
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground paprika
- ½ tsp white pepper
- 120 g peas fresh or frozen
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh lime/lemon juice
- 20 g fresh dill roughly chopped
- 20 g fresh mint leaves only
- 20 g fresh coriander cilantro, roughly chopped
- 20 g fresh saw-tooth coriander leaves roughly chopped (optional)
- ½ tsp chilli flakes (optional)
- In a big pot, boil the potatoes, skins-on, in salted water until just tender, then drain in a colander and set aside to cool. Peel the skins off and dice into bite-sized pieces.
- In a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and half a teaspoon of salt into a paste.
- In a wok or pan, heat the oil, fry the mustard seeds until they splutter, then add the finely diced shallot, garlic paste and dried spices, combine well, and fry until the onion is soft and translucent.
- Turn the heat down to low, add the peas and potatoes, combine well until the potatoes are covered in the spices. Taste and adjust seasoning to suit your palate, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Once cool, add the mayonnaise, virgin olive oil, fresh lime/lemon juice, fresh herbs, combine well, sprinkle on the chilli flakes, and serve immediately.
Please do let us know in the comments below if you make our potato salad recipe with peas, fresh herbs and aromatic spices as we’d love to know how it turns out for you.