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Try a plant-based menu with the Twin Cities Vegan Chef Challenge

Namaste Café shares a recipe for Namaste Café Chiya Chili Potatoes.

MINNEAPOLIS — Plant-based foods are growing in popularity, and some Twin Cities restaurants are encouraging more people to give them a try.

Throughout the month of August, the Twin Cities Vegan Chef Challenge has been asking diners to sample plant-based menu items, then rate their dishes and post photos online with the hashtag #tcveganchef for a chance to win prizes.

The month-long challenge will be followed by a special awards event on Sept. 12 at Camden Market.

More information about the Twin Cities Vegan Chef Challenge can be found on the event's website.

Namaste Café in Minneapolis is among the participating restaurants. Chef and owner Saujanya Shrestha made a virtual visit to KARE 11 News at 4 to share a recipe for a delicious vegan dish that anyone can make at home.

Namaste Café Chiya Chili Potatoes


  • Boiled potatoes (6 medium sized potatoes, boiled in the skin, cut in half and cooled down)

For Coating:

  • 1/2 cup yellow Corn flour 
  • 2 tbsp Nigella seeds (if not available use mustard seeds) 
  • 2 tbsp peeled & freshly grated ginger 
  • 1 cup of Vegetable oil for frying 


  • 3 tbsp of Vegetable oil 
  • 2 tbsp Sesame seeds 
  • 1 tbsp Crushed Hot Chili Pepper 
  • 3/4 cup Ketchup 
  • 1/2 cup Maple syrup 
  • 2 tbsp Vinegar 


  • 1 tbsp Cilantro 


Peel the cooled off potatoes and cut in 1 inch cubes. To a mixing bowl, add potatoes, corn flour, nigella seeds and grated ginger and mix all together until potatoes are coated. Add 1 cup of oil to the frying pan and heat. Fry the coated potatoes at medium heat for 10 minutes until crispy on all sides. Let them drain on paper towel. 

For the sauce, heat 3 tbsp of oil at high heat until oil is smoking, add sesame seeds and roast for an instant. Add crushed pepper, ketchup, maple syrup and vinegar and heat for another minute. Mix the sauce with the fried potatoes, garnish with finely chopped cilantro and serve. Makes a great Aperitif snack with a glass of wine, beer or juice. Or serve as an appetizer or side! 

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