Spicing up Swedish food /1 – Pyttipanna a la Madras

I quite like traditional Swedish food (which is pretty bland but not quite as tasteless as some people imagine). That includes such dishes as isterband, kåldolmar, stekt lever med lök, Janssons frestele, köttbullar. köttgryta, ärtsoppa, pannbiff, pyttipanna, gravad lax, fattiga riddare and gubbröra. 

However, to suit my palate, I tend to tweak most traditional recipes when I am in control of the kitchen. Quite simple modifications can elevate traditional Swedish, everyday dishes (husmanskost) from the merely mundane to the seriously delicious.

Here is number 1.

Pyttipanna a la Madras

The recipe is based on a half-kg bag of frozen pyttipanna (feeds two). A wok (or large frying pan) is most suitable for preparation.

(Of the various frozen brands available, I find the finely diced  – finhackad – versions to be the most suitable for absorbing additional flavours).

Ingredients : half-kg bag of frozen pyttipanna; o.5 tsp cummin seeds; 1 -2 tsp chillie powder (or 4 – 8 large, crushed, dried red chillies); 2 cloves garlic (crushed); half can of crushed tomatoes; 1tsp garam masala;  0.5 tsp black peppercorns, chopped parsley, 2 rashers of bacon, crushed potato chips.

Heat 2 tblsp of cooking oil (olive oil. does not get get hot enough). When hot enough (2 mins) add the peppercorns and cummin till the seeds spit and pop, add and stir fry the red chillies not more than a minute), add the crushed tomatoes. Stir 2 minutes. Add the frozen pytt (which can be pre-cooked in the microwave to save time). Stir fry till done (6 -8 minutes from frozen or 3 minutes with pre-cooked pytt). Sprinkle with crushed potato chips and garam masala.

Top with a fried egg and two crispy bacon rashers for each serving with sliced beetroot or preferably, cucumber, on the side. Garnish with the parsley. Salt to taste.

Options: Frozen prawns can be added together with the frozen pytt. Half a ttsp of mustard seeds can be added and fried with the cummin for extra flavour and texture.


 

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