If you’ve been following along while I’ve been cooking Nepali food over the past couple weeks, you may have been surprised to see this dish. Scalloped Potato Gratin with Herbs and Swiss? How is that authentic Nepali? The answer? I have no idea.
The back of this particular cookbook promises, “This treasury of recipes from the members of the Association of Nepalis in the Americas represents the best of authentic Nepali cuisine.” There are no headnotes on the recipe pages to help explain dishes or their origins.
Doubts about authenticity aside, I do love a good gratin and had a bunch of potatoes just waiting to get used. And most importantly I really wanted an excuse to buy Swiss in bulk. So while I can’t promise authentic Nepali cuisine with this particular dish, I can promise that it’s as cheesy and delicious as it sounds.
Masala Panir Alu- Scalloped Potato Gratin with Herbs and Swiss
Yield: 4-6 servings
* 3 Tablespoons butter, plus extra for greasing casserole dish
* 2 onions, finely chopped
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 3 cups whole milk
* 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
* 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
* 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
* 2 cups grated Swiss cheese
* 1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
* 5 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced very thinly
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a casserole dish and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the onion and garlic until softened but not browned. Set aside.
In a small saucepan gently heat the milk with the rosemary, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, combine the grated cheese and breadcrumbs.
Evenly place about one third of the peeled potatoes in the bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle about half of the onion mixture on top of the potatoes and then sprinkle with about one-third of the cheese mixture. Place another third of the potatoes on top of the first layer and then top with the remaining onion mixture. Sprinkle with another third of the cheese mixture and then top with the remaining potatoes. Pour the spiced milk over the dish and then top with the remaining cheese mixture.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 50 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the top has begun to brown. Cool on a rack for about ten minutes before serving.
Adapted from The Nepal Cookbook