Monday, March 28, 2011

Easy Indian cooking

Lately I have been talking to some other Brazilians married to Indians and usually the topic that springs up is food. So I decided to share the easiest South Indian recipe I know, which is also error proof and can be changed in so many variations that it solves my cooking needs about 80% of the time (especially when time is short and cooking is not the priority). It is a basic curry recipe that I learned partly from my MIL (early on, through A.'s translation and questions for her), partly from my favorite Indian cooking website  and my favorite South Indian cookbook (which comes with many pictures to help explain what you should be doing). Anyway, here goes the recipe:

Aloo curry/fry 

4 tbsp oil
1/2 tbsp mustard seed
1 tbsp black gram
3-4 red dried chillies (and/or some green chillies)
8-10 curry leaves (optional, don't fret if you don't find it)

1 or 2 of the following:

     - 1/2 tbsp cumin seed
     - 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste (or natural)
     - 1/2 tbsp coriander powder
     - 1 pinch asafoetida

6 cooked, peeled and cut potatoes
1/2 tbsp turmeric powder
1/3 tbsp chilli powder (more or less depending on taste)
Salt to taste

How to prepare:
Heat the oil in a pan, and add one spice at a time in the order above. Let the previous one brown (but not burn) before adding the next. Then add the potatoes, turmeric, chilli powder, and salt. Let the potato fry a bit, turning frequently (if necessary add some water or some oil). Ta-da! 
Serve with rice.
That's is!  

The best part of this recipe is that you can substitute the potatoes for many other veggies and it is also the base for many rice recipes. Here are some ideas and the pairings with the optional spices (the ones marked pick 1-2 of that group):
- Cabbage: ginger garlic and cumin (and a little coriander) (no need to cook the veggies beforehand, but it takes a longer time to cook than the other veggies)
- Brinjal (eggplan): ginger garlic paste and asafoetida (no need to cook the veggies beforehand)
- Zucchini (my own invention!): cumin and coriander (no need to cook the veggies beforehand)
- Green bell peppers: cumin and coriander
- Green beans: ginger garlic and cumin

I'm sure you can also try mixing the veggies, but A. is a purist in this sense and likes to have them separate. :P

To make carrot rice for example, substitute the cooked potatoes for 3 raw grated carrots, and prepare the "curry" accordingly. Then mix to 2 (small) cups of freshly cooked rice.


No comments:

Post a Comment