14 February 2010

Of Romance and Indian Food

After all my raving about what a fantastic gift 660 Curries was from my sister, my boyfriend completely surprised me and gave me another Raghavan Iyer book: Betty Crocker's Indian Home Cooking.  This book is probably less intimidating for a new-to-Indian-food home cook than 660 Curries.  It is full of beautiful pictures, and, as usual, contains Raghavan's approachable, witty writing. I was absolutely charmed that my boyfriend was paying such close attention to my ramblings about Indian food (and Raghavan Iyer, in particular) that he thought to buy me this book. 

Even better, my boyfriend was excited to have me cook him something from the book - a big step for him since he wasn't too sure how he felt about Indian food. I knew if he was involved with picking the recipes and some of preparation, he would enjoy an Indian meal.  Fortunately my instincts were right on target, and he really loved the dinner we made.  The spices and flavors in the dishes we selected were familiar to him from Mexican food: cumin, coriander, cilantro.

This potato dish is very basic, and it makes a pleasant alternative to serving a curry with rice.   The original recipe called for adding the peas a little earlier in the cooking, but I opted to add them closer to the end so they stayed a spring green (a little lost in these pictures because I photographed the meal the following day at lunch, when there was a lot of natural light). 

Check back soon to see what we ate with the potatoes and peas.

Potatoes with Peas (Aloo Mutter)
adapted from Betty Crocker's Indian Home Cooking by Raghavan Iyer

1 T vegetable oil
1 t ground cumin
½ cup finely chopped red onion
2 medium tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces (1 ½ cups)
1 t salt
½ t ground cayenne pepper
¼ t ground turmeric
3 medium red potatoes (1 pound), cooked and cut into 2-inch pieces (2 cups)
1 cup frozen green peas
1 cup water
2 T finely chopped fresh cilantro

1. Heat oil in 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cumin; sizzle 15 to 30 seconds.
2. Add onion; stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown.  Stir in tomatoes, salt, cayenne pepper and turmeric; stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until tomatoes are softened.
3. Stir in remaining ingredients except frozen green peas.  Heat to boiling; reduce heat to medium.  Cover and simmer 5 minutes.  Uncover and add the frozen peas; simmer about 5 minutes longer or until sauce thickens slightly. 


Laura said...

Looks awesome--and your daylight photos are really nice.

grace said...

what an excellent surprise present, and what a whopper of a first recipe to make! i love those spices that are trademarks of mexican cuisine, so i'd probably love this dish too!

Cate O'Malley said...

Love a nice and easy Indian recipe. I think I actually have this cookbook - need to dig it out. Definitely making this one - thanks for the reminder!

TeaLady said...

I made this for the first time to go with my Daring Kitchen challenge and loved the flavor. Will try yours and see how similar they are.

Looks delicious, btw.

I didn't know BC made a ckbk for Indian cooking. Cool!!

Josie said...

TeaLady- Both this BC cookbook or 660 Curries are fantastic! Raghavan Iyer really makes cooking Indian easy for an American home cook.