Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Masala Poutine

We visited Quebec City in September and were advised to try a restaurant called Le Chic Shack which is located just below the Plains of Abraham and Château Frontenac in the old city. It was September 13th, the anniversary of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham where the French and British troops fought in 1759. Le Chic Shack is locally famous for its poutine, a calorie-laden French Canadian dish of french fries with cheese curds and gravy.

 I chose masala poutine, a spicy East Indian version that did not disappoint! The potatoes were roasted, curry sauce was used rather than gravy, and the potatoes and curds were garnished with chutney, cherry tomatoes and hot peppers. The restaurant also serves burgers and chicken but I don't know how a person could eat the hearty poutine and a burger in one sitting.

This was a dish that had to be re-created at home. We ate the most successful version tonight, which is significantly modified from the original. It still features the complex flavours of curry and cheese with potatoes. I used this recipe from Kimchi Mom as a starting place for experimentation.  I found a mild Indian Curry Sauce at Farm Boy which is low in calories (50 calories per 1/2 cup) and very flavourful. It works perfectly for the gravy. My next experiment will be reproducing the curry sauce.

Spice Mixture:

1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garam masala
fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or 1-2 cloves freshly pressed garlic (optional)

Preheat oven to 425F

Cut 3 pounds of potatoes in wedges or chunks and lightly toss with olive oil. I used half white potatoes and half sweet potatoes. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the potatoes and mix with a spoon until they are evenly coated. Spread potatoes on a baking sheet and roast until tender- about 30 minutes.

While the potatoes are roasting you can make this optional fresh chutney. If you want it to be hot, use the entire pepper, otherwise remove the seeds.


1 large bunch of fresh cilantro, stems and leaves (3 cups) washed and drained.
1 jalapeño pepper
zest and juice of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 ripe avocado (optional but delicious!)

Pulse the chutney ingredients in a food processor or blender until pureed. The chutney keeps for a week or so in the fridge and can be used as a condiment for other dishes.

When the potatoes are tender you are ready to assemble to dish. It can be made as spicy or mild as desired.


Grated "melty" cheese or curds
Curry sauce or gravy, heated
Cherry tomatoes, halved or chopped fresh tomatoes
Other vegetables- we added a few steamed brussels sprouts today
Sliced jalapeños, fresh or pickled
Sour cream
Fried onions

Enjoy! This is an ultimate, one dish comfort meal.

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