Friday, September 10, 2010
First order of business, I wish Eid Mubarak to all my Muslim readers.
It's a busy day at our kitchen. The spicy chicken rendang is done and the ghee rice is in the rice cooker. While it's great that 1 Syawal falls on the holy Friday, Vijay will have to wait before he can gorge on the chicken because today is also the day he goes to the temple.
With all sorts of Indian spices stashed in my pantry and a few potatoes lying around, it's quite easy to come up with a vegetarian dish. It's been awhile since I've cooked anything according to my own recipe. This is one of moments where I'm done with the blender, the chopping and slow simmering - that rendang required all these.
My Indian friends told me this is how they cook at home. There's really no recipe to follow. Get what is fresh for the day from the market. Then it's just a matter of using your imagination and what you already have. Don't overdo the spices and let the main ingredient shine.
Now, you'll have to excuse me. I have to get back to that steaming rice and then attend to my singing belly. Happy feasting!
Dry Spiced Aloo
- 1/2 lb potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces with skin on
- 2 centimeters ginger, grated
- 3 red chilies, chopped finely
- 4 shallots, sliced thinly
- 12 curry leaves, soaked and drained
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1/3 cup coconut milk (you can also use yogurt or sour cream)
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- peanut oil for deep frying
- kosher salt to taste
- a handful of chopped coriander
- a handful of chopped celery leaves
Heat up peanut oil in a large wok. Deep fry the potatoes over medium high heat till golden brown, 5-6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
In a cast iron skillet or a wok, heat the ghee. Fry the spices (all the seeds) and curry leave till the mustard seeds pop. Add the shallots and saute till brown on medium heat. Add the chilies and ginger and fry for about 2 minutes.
Turn down the heat, add the garam masala, turmeric and chili powder. Stir for a moment and add the coconut milk. Bring back the heat to medium and stir till the mixture thickens slightly.
Add in the potatoes and fry till dry. Season accordingly, add in the coriander and celery leaves. Serve immediately with rice or Indian flat breads.
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