Saturday, 14 July 2012

Tangy potato curry

First things first, I thank Mrs. Mridula Baljekar for this recipe from her book called "CURRY". It gives a westerner an insight into sub-continental (mainly Indian) cuisine. The entire publishing team is based in the UK and the book is very pretty and photography really mouthwatering.

That said, this book would be better off if read strictly by westerners or Indians who are novices in the kitchen. I'm not being negative about the book but, it's a really large country with just too many varied cuisines that the author is trying to claim expertise on. As expected the south Indian section has taken the heaviest blow as regards authenticity and it is precisely a recipe from this section that I have adapted in this post. "Adapted" in this case really means adapted and is not the blogging word for "copied".

So, this "south Indian" curry is a semi gravy (as you see in the pic above) that pairs well with most north Indian rice dishes like pulav (pilaf) or Jeera rice. You will need:

400 gm Potatoes (baby potatoes are suggested, makes no difference)
5-6 dried Red chilies
4-5 Tomatoes (quartered)
3/4 Tbsp Tamarind paste
1 Tsp Fennel seeds (Saunf/Perunjeeragam)
4 cloves of Garlic
1/4 Tsp Asafoetida (Hing/Kayam)
7 Curry leaves
1/2 Tsp Sugar
Green Corriander
1 Tbsp Ghee/ Unsalted cooking butter
1-2 Tbst plain Yogurt (optional)

Peel and dice the potatoes. Put them in a pot of water and set it to boil. Meanwhile in a jar of a blender, add the red chilies and two tablespoons of boiling water to soften them. (You could take some from the pot of potatoes). Add all the other ingredients except the ghee (or butter) to the blender jar as well. Make sure the boiling water for the chilies has cooled down and blend.
Keep an eye on the potatoes, remove from flame when still a little uncooked.
Heat the ghee in a wok. If using butter, heat it till it has clarified (not just melted). When butter clarifies, it smokes considerably. That's when you know it is done. To the fat, add the contents of the blender and stir. If  using butter, there would be more sputtering. Stir for about five minutes on medium flame to reduce the sauce. Taste it to check the spice and adjust salt if needed. If it is too spicy, stir in the yogurt else leave it out. Reduce the flame to minimum and add the potatoes. Stir well to coat the potatoes and let them simmer in the gravy for about 3-4 mins more until they are now fully done. Take off the heat, sprinkle green corriander to garnish.

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