Spicy Potatoes and Spinach with Blackened Chiles and Coconut Milk (Ulli Ishto)
1 pound Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, and submerged in a bowl of cold water to prevent browning
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon Panch Phoron
3 dried red Thai or cayenne chiles, stems removed
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
8 ounces fresh spinach leaves, well rinsed and coarsely chopped
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in the Panch Phoron and cook until it sizzles and is aromatic, 10 to 15 seconds. Add the chiles and stir-dry until they blacken and are highly pungent, 10 to 15 seconds. Immediately add the potatoes and cover the pan briefly (oil with spatter). Remove the lid once the din subsides, and stir the potatoes once or twice. Then cover the skillet agin, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are partially cooked, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the salt and turmeric. Pour in the coconut milk, and stir to deglaze the skillet, releasing any collected browned bits of spice and vegetable. Heat to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the skillet, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are fork-tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
Pile in the spinach and cover the skillet. Cook until the steam has wilted the leaves, about 2 minutes.
Stir the curry once or twice to incorporate the wilted greens. Serve.