Without peeling, wash and boil the potatoes in salted water. Now peel off the skins after they have cooled. Cut potato into halves (if potato is small) or into quarters (if large).
Using a cast iron frying pan, pre-heat the oil, add bay leaf, cinnamon and cardamom and heat for 15-20 secs. Add onion, ginger paste and garlic paste. Stir and fry until light brown. Add turmeric powder, cumin powder, red pepper powder and salt to taste. Stir well and heat for 15 secs.
Add potato to the frying pan. Turn down the heat to medium, and stir well for about 5 mins.
Add tomato and sprinkle a little water. Continue to stir for another 10 mins.
During cooking, whenever the contents look like drying, add a little water and stir. Do not add more than 2 tbsp. water at a time. The idea is to have a thick gravy when the potato is cooked.
Garnish with coriander leaves. This makes a wonderfully tasty meal on its own but can also be served as an accompaniment with meat dishes.