Craving something Indian

I’m looking more and more forward to my trip to India everyday!  I can’t believe it’s under a month away now. I have so many gifts to buy for people, so many things to pack for Piyush and I (note to self: don’t forget the toilet paper), and not a lot of time to brush up on my Indian cooking.  My in-laws love that I can cook their cuisine and they boast that their American daughter-in-law can cook things like aloo posto, prawn malai curry, and ladoos.  I just love that I can make them happy and we can bond over cooking.  I really believe that food has helped bridge some of the cultural differences between us.  Food is very important to my husband’s family.  Infact, when I hear from Maa or Baba (my in-laws) they usually ask what I made for dinner before they ask how I’m doing.  …And that’s alright with me!

Today was a little cold outside.  We’ve been eating leftover Bouillabaisse lately,

and although I think it tastes wonderful, I’ve had enough.  I wanted something warm, something spicy, something Indian.  I love Indian food on cold days, infact, I crave it.  It warms up the body, fills you up nicely, and makes your house smell absolutely lovely!  This is one of first recipes I learned, and its one of the easiest.  I made it for my in-laws when they were here and they told me that they felt like they were back in India!  That’s right…it’s that good!  It’s also incredibly simple!

How cute are Maa and Baba?!?

If you’re looking for the creamy, fatty, melt in your mouth type aloo matar you would recieve in a restaurant, you might want to keep looking.  There’s no heavy cream.  Not any half and half.  I didn’t even use coconut milk! I cut all that out of this recipe because not only did I think it would taste better without all the milkiness, but it’d be extremely more healthy as well.  I promise, you won’t even miss the cream!

The Recipe
1 1/2 lbs. potatoes: peeled, diced & boiled
1 c. green peas (I usually blanch these before using them.)
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 tbsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. ginger paste
1 tsp. garlic paste
2 roma tomatoes, finely chopped (peeled if you want to get fancy about it)
1 pinch of tumeric
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 pinch white sugar
1/2 tsp or more garam masala (I usually use a more, to taste)
1 tbsp. oil
green chile, chopped- to your taste
salt, to taste
chopped coriander (cilantro) for garnish
Directions:
  • Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan or frypan with deep sides.  Add the cumin seeds.
  • When the cumin seeds begin to pop, add the onions and green chiles.  Saute until they are translucent.
  • Add the ginger paste, garlic paste and tomatoes.  Simmer until the tomatoes are cooked are are like a smooth sauce.  Once they begin to break down I usually grab a potatao masher and just mash everything together.  I tell myself it just helps the tomatoes to break down quicker, but really I’m super impatient!   At this point I sometimes throw everything in my VitaMix and puree it until it’s nice and smooth.
  • Add the turmeric powder, chili powder, garam masala, green peas and potatoes and cook for some time.
  • Add about 1 1/2 cups of water and salt to taste.  Allow it to come to a boil, turn the heat down and let simmer for a good 20 minutes or until the gravy thickens to your liking.  The longer you let the curry simmer, the better it will taste.  Add some finely diced corriander, and you’re done!

If you think your gravy is too thin or that you added too much water, mash a few pieces of the potatoes into it.  This will thicken it up nicely.

Who knew peas could taste so good?!

You wouldn’t need to serve this with rice, infact a chapati or roti would be the better choice.  My husband, being Bengali, LOVES rice and has to eat it at almost every meal.  I also served this with Indian spiced chicken legs.  Basically I just marinated chicken legs with a bunch of spices, and it was wonderful!  I’ll post that the next time I make it because really I didn’t write down what I threw in the marinade.

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