March 29, 2014

Aloo Mattar Curry

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

       Potatoes and peas, upgraded. Credit: Susan Sampson


6 cloves garlic
1 piece ginger (1 inch/2.5 cm), sliced
3/4 cup (175 mL) canned tomatoes (with juices)
1-1/4 cups (300 mL) water, divided
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground turmeric
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne powder
1 piece cinnamon stick (2 inches/5 cm)
4 cardamom pods
1 clove
2 tbsp (30 mL) ghee or coconut oil
1 onion, diced
2 tsp (5 mL) or more kosher salt
3 red or white potatoes (1 lb/500 g), cut in chunks (3/4 inch/2 cm)
1 tsp (5 mL) cumin seeds
3 cups (750 mL) frozen peas (10 oz/350 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 ghee or oil. Heat until melted. Add onion and 1 tsp (5 mL) salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, 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 mixture. When liquid comes to simmer, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 15 minutes, or until potatoes are softened.

Add peas and remaining 1 cup (250 mL) water. Heat on high. When liquid comes to boil, 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. Add small dollops of yogurt or vegan sour cream to taste (if desired). Sprinkle with cilantro.

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

  • If using vegan sour cream, which isn’t as tangy as yogurt, you’ll need to add the full amount of lime juice.
  • Remember to pick out the cinnamon, clove and cardamom when eating.

Shopping Cart: Use waxy red or white potatoes, which will hold their shape. Yellow-flesh potatoes, although softer and creamier, will also work. Avoid starchy russets; they fall apart in stews.