March 31, 2014

Aloo Mattar Curry

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Vegetarian curry recipes are not only delightful, they are easily converted to vegan. This potato and pea curry is a classic, Indian takeout favourite.

6 cloves garlic, peeled
1-inch (2.5 cm) piece ginger, quartered
3/4 cup (175 mL) canned tomatoes (with juices)
1-1/4 cups (300 mL) water, divided
1/2 tsp (2 mL) turmeric
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne
2-inch (5 cm) piece cinnamon stick
4 cardamom pods
1 clove
2 tbsp (30 mL) grapeseed or coconut oil
1 onion, diced
2 tsp (5 mL) or more kosher salt
3 red or white potatoes (about 1 lb/500 g), cut in 1/2- to 3/4-inch (1 to 2 cm) chunks
1 tsp (5 mL) cumin seeds
3 cups (750 mL) frozen peas (about 12 oz/375 mL)
1 tsp (5 mL) garam masala
2 tbsp (30 mL) or more unflavoured yogurt or vegan sour cream
1 tbsp (15 mL) lime juice
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped cilantro

With machine running, toss garlic and ginger into food processor to chop. Add tomatoes, 1/4 cup (60 mL) water, turmeric and cayenne. Purée into coarse paste.

In 10-inch (25 cm) wide pan, heat cinnamon, cardamom and clove on medium 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add oil and heat until shimmery. Add onion and 1 tsp (5 mL) salt. Cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, until turning golden. Stir in potatoes and 1 tsp (5 mL) salt. Cook, stirring often, 3 minutes, or until onion is golden brown and potatoes stick to pan. Stir in cumin seeds 10 seconds, or until sizzling. Add tomato purée. When mixture comes to simmer, cover, turn heat to low and cook 15 minutes, or until potatoes are softened.

Add peas and remaining 1 cup (250 mL) water. Return to simmer on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 5 to 10 minutes, until potatoes are tender.

Remove from heat. Stir in garam masala and 2 tbsp (30 mL) yogurt or vegan sour cream. Add some or all of lime juice, to taste. Adjust salt.

Ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with small dollop of yogurt or vegan sour cream (if desired). Sprinkle with cilantro.

Makes 4-1/2 cups (1.125 mL).

  • Use waxy red or white potatoes, which will hold their shape. Yellow-flesh potatoes, which are creamy, will also work. Avoid starchy russets; they fall apart in stews.
  • You’ll need to add the full amount of lime juice with the vegan sour cream, which isn’t as tangy as yogurt.
  • Remember to pick out the cinnamon, clove and cardamom when eating.

Credit: Susan Sampson
Tested in Imperial