This dish is everything I want in a home-made curry – full of taste, easy to make, and easy on the budget. It’s vegetarian (vegan, even), low-fat, takes half an hour in a single pan and uses only storecupboard ingredients. How much more perfect could it be?
My mother-in-law gave me this recipe and she knows what she’s on about.
4 large potatoes or the equivalent in new potatoes
Some peas, fresh or frozen. However much you like.
1 tsp ground coriander
1tsp ground cumin
1tsp ground tumeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
As much chilli as you like, powdered, dried or fresh
1tsp garam masala
A knob of butter (or oil if you’re vegan)
A pinch of salt and pepper
Chop up the onion really finely, as finely as you can bear with tears streaming down your face. If possible, it should be almost chopped to a paste although don’t worry if it’s not. Melt the butter in a non-stick saucepan on a low-to-medium heat and when it starts to foam, add the onion. Stir it occasionally as you get on with the other stuff, but not too much, it’s nice when it catches a bit.
Now cut up the potatoes into roughly equal-sized chunks. If you’re using new potatoes just halve them.
Mix together the coriander, cumin, cayenne, sugar, chilli, salt and pepper (but not the garam masala). When the onions are golden brown, almost burnt, add the potatoes and the spice mix, give it a good stir so the onions and potato are coated and let it cook for a minute. Then pour in some cold water, enough to almost cover the potatoes.
Bring the whole thing up to the boil and let it bubble away for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and tasting often – if you feel it needs more salt then add it. As the potato softens and the liquid reduces a bit, smoosh a couple of the potatoes into the liquid to thicken it.
If it gets a bit dry, add more water. If it’s too watery, smoosh some more of the potato into it and turn up the heat and reduce the liquid some more. Use the mighty power of your brain.
After 15 minutes, check if the potatoes are almost-but-not-completely cooked. If they are, add the peas (if they’re not, cook them some more until they are, obviously). Once the peas are cooked (about 5 minutes), sprinkle over the garam masala, stir it around for another minute and serve it up with basmati rice and dhal, if you like.
This, as they say on the packets, is a serving suggestion:
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