Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Potato Curry and Cauliflower Curry

It really is utterly pointless photographing curry, isn't it? Sure, if you already know you like it, then the grey-ish looking potatoes scream, "delicious" but if you don't...well as I said, not much point photographing it, really. Gosh, I just looked at how I punctuated that sentence. That's really just pitiful. I must have been absent the day they taught commas.

I had the most beautiful head of cauliflower, and it almost seemed criminal to cook it in a curry. I used to love munching on raw cauliflower, but I don't dare now. I was tempted to make the cauliflower loaf in La Cuisine, but after the potatoes the other night, I thought the boys could use a break from butter and heavy cream. Curry is the one food I can be certain Danny will eat-the variety does not matter. I'm really pleased about that, because you can cram quite a bit of vegetables and lentils into curry. If you skip the ghee you can even make it (I can't believe I'm going to type this word...I wonder if my keyboard will explode..) healthy.

The proportions are also quite flexible when making curries, and take well to adjustments for taste. That is helpful when it calls for nuts (as the cauliflower curry did). I doubled the recipe easily, and if it lacked something for the absence of cashews, no one seemed to notice.

The cauliflower recipe may be found HERE.

The potato recipe is from The Spice Box, Vegetarian Indian Cooking by, Manju Shivraj Singh. I omitted the fenugreek and chillies, and increased the water considerably, which I will note in the directions. I can't possibly say enough wonderful things about this cookbook. In 1981, many of these recipes would have been completely unfamiliar to American cooks, and the directions are so clear and concise that you know exactly what to do at each step, and can take it on faith the dishes will turn out. For the most part, they do. I can't think of any outright disasters I've had.

I served the cauliflower curry over rice because I was too exhausted to make chapatis. I know, they are the easiest thing in the world, but I just couldn't do it. I don't think the potatoes and rice thing was too much, given the soup-y nature of curry.

For the Potato Curry (Masala Aloo

3 tablespoons oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 dried red chilli, crushed (I used red chilli flakes)
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (I omitted)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
A pinch of asafetida (NO! It not only sounds like "ass", it tastes it as well! I flat out refuse to use the stuff. )
3 medium raw potatoes (I used Yukon Golds)
2 onions, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon cayenne (I used 1/2)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons coriander powder
Salt to taste
1/2 cup water (I used about 1 1/2 cups total. I wanted more of a sauce with these, but you could certainly use less)

Heat oil in a wok or large pan. Stir in garlic, crushed chili, fenugreek (if using) and asafetida (don't). Add sliced potatoes and stir well. Add onions, garlic and all other spices. Add salt and water. Cook until done. I did mine over medium heat and then reduced it to low until potatoes were soft-it took roughly 45 minutes. Mr. Eat The Blog was late tonight, and it kept well covered in a 180 degree F. oven for close to an hour. I like recipes that stand up to being kept warm-and this did.

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