It’s another savoury recipe today, we’ll be back to the cake very soon though, promise! I have something baking away in the oven as I type.
Here in the little house by the beach, curry is our absolute favourite food. We love nothing more than heading out for a curry and ordering the entire menu. We’re on first name terms with rather too many curry house owners, and, somewhat embarrassingly, don’t actually have to give our order when we phone the local restaurant for take away, they know exactly what we want. All fantastic on the taste-buds, not so great for the waist line or the wallet.
This year, as one of my goals for 2014, I really want to learn to cook proper curries completely from scratch instead of my usual fall back of curry paste. I really want to learn about spices, and balancing flavours, to make something authentic and tasty. I’ve dabbled before with mixed success. Some have turned out beautifully, like my Chana Masala, others have just been a bit bland and lacklustre.
On the flight back from Cambodia, I watched an episode of Rick Stein’s India. I was enthralled by the magic of the way Indian cooking was portrayed, big pots simmering away, handfuls of spices thrown in, meat cooked until it falls off the bone. I loved watching Rick scribble everything down in his notebook, ready to recreate it later. I’ve gone for one of the recipes from the series for my first curry attempt of the year. I’ve adapted the recipe slightly due to the availability of spices, if you have a good Indian supermarket near you though, I’d defiantly take a look at the original recipe. Aloo Dum is a delicious potato and pea curry. The potatoes are fried until golden and crispy, and finished with vibrant turmeric. Spices are cooked through, cumin, coriander, garlic, ginger, chilli powder. Add in tomato and peas, simmer gently and finish with garam masala. The recipe says it serves 6-8, and I think it would if you had it alongside other curries. It made 4 portions just on it’s own with a few rotis.
So here we are, the first in what will hopefully become a series of Friday Night Curry Nights, a wonderful go with everything curry – Aloo Dum.
If you’ve got any wonderful curry recipes, or tips for making really good curries, I would love to hear them!
(adapted, slightly, from Rick Stein)
For the fried potatoes
1kg potatoes, peeled and cut into 3cm chunks
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
For the sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 whole cloves
1 medium onion, very finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
5cm fresh root ginger, finely grated, or pulsed in a food processor
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
200g passata (or chopped tomatoes, blended until smooth)
2 green chillies, deseeded and cut into long thin strips
150g frozen peas
1 teaspoon garam masala
Boil the potatoes in a pan of salted water until just tender, then drain. In a large pan, heat the vegetable oil. Add the potatoes and fry for about five minutes, until your potatoes are wonderfully golden brown. Stir the regularly to make sure they don’t catch on the bottom of the pan. Add the turmeric and fry for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat.
Now it’s time to make the sauce in another pan.
In a clean pan, heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil over a medium-high heat. Add the cloves and fry for about 30 seconds. Add the onion to the pan, and cook for about five minutes, then add the ginger and garlic and fry for another five. By this point everything should be softened and lightly browned and smelling wonderful.
It’s time to throw in your spices – add the chilli powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground turmeric and salt. Give everything a good stir and fry for about a minute. Add in the passata, green chillies and 100ml of water. Stir in the fried potatoes, reduce your heat to medium, cover and let cook down for 10 minutes. Keep an eye on things, add a splash of water if the sauces thickens too much and starts to stick.
Remove the cover, add the peas and garam masala. Cook uncovered for about 3 minutes, until the peas are tender.
Serve with rotis, or alongside your favourite curries.