Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Recipe: Aloo (Potato) Curry

An Indian friend of mine (Harry) once pointed me to an excellent vegetarian Indian recipe website. While many of the recipes were fabulous, this one (or rather, the mother from whom this recipe descended) was our favourite. It's rich and spicy and full of flavour.

Normally I don't like onions and onions don't like me. (I have a food intolerance.) But if they're cooked long enough, whatever it is that objects to being present in my stomach gets denatured. This recipe cooks them enough for me not only to tolerate them, but enjoy them thoroughly.

If you're unfamiliar with making curries, don't let this recipe daunt you.  Yes, that spice list is very long, but it's sooo worth it. If it truly scares you, you could substitute a half-cup of Garam Masala spice mix or a bog-standard curry powder, though it won't be nearly as good. My spice list uses whole spices, where possible, but if you can't find whole spices, you can use pre-powdered spices. Just be sure to reduce the amount to nearly half for volumetric purposes.

Aloo (Potato) Curry

1kg (2lbs) potatoes, peeled, cubed and boiled
1kg (2lbs) onions, peeled and sliced thin
250g (8oz) butter
2 Tbsp oil
Curry Spice Mix (see below)

Prepare your potatoes first by peeling, cubing and boiling them until tender but not falling apart. Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet, melt the butter and the oil. As soon as it is hot, fry up the onions until very soft and starting to colour. This should take a good ten to fifteen minutes. The more colour on the onions, the better the flavour.

Add Curry Spice Mix and stir in with the onions until fragrant. 

Add potatoes and stir until thoroughly coated with the onion spice mixture. 

Serve up as a side dish, or as a vegetarian main with flatbread. Serves 4-6.

Curry Spice Mix

You will need a grinder. While possible to grind in a mortar and pestle, I highly recommend a spice grinder (or a coffee grinder, or a blender or one of those turn-whole-veggies-into-a-smoothie blenders like my Nutri-Ninja) or anything that will turn whole spices into powdered spices. If your grinder's not big enough for these quantities, you can grind a few spices at a time then blend together in the end.

Place in your grinder:

1 Tbsp powdered tumeric
2 Tbsp cumin seeds
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cardamom pods
1 tsp whole cloves (or substitute 1/4 tsp powdered cloves, these are so strong)
1/2 tsp peppercorns
1/2 stick cinnamon (or 1/2 tsp powdered cinnamon)
2 bay leaves
1/2 a nutmeg (or 1/2 tsp powdered nutmeg)
1 star anise
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp kashmiri chili (or 1/4 tsp cayenne powder)
generous pinch of asfoetida powder (optional, if you can find it)

Grind up until a fine powder. Add to your aloo curry. Can also be used in other recipes asking for curry powder.

Their Graces are suckers for a good curry.

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