you know you’re a foodie when you’d rather smell of curry than of bottled perfume. anytime i’ve cooked something curry i seriously consider moving all my clothes from my closet into the kitchen so they can soak up the smell. mmmmmmmmhhhhmmm. (and no, that’s not weird at all…). ever since my last kitchen visit to thailand and blabbing about ethnic foods, i’d been craving indian food something fierce. so i set out to make a curry that would take me back to my favorite indian restaurant in central illinois, ‘puran’.
okay, so an indian restaurant in central illinois doesn’t sound very authentic, but it proved time and again that it’s the best indian food around. i’ve been there so many times i was practically on a first name basis with the workers. well, sort of. fine, it’s just in my head that we’re friends. regardless, i’d gladly make that place my second home.
i really should thank the guy that took me on a date there in college for opening my world to such delicious indian food. it was our first date and i was so nervous, especially since i didn’t pick the restaurant. i finished my plate no problem (none of this ladylike dainty eating on dates thing). i remember talking about my plans to apply to peace corps and he wanted to study in the middle east; it was like a date the UN would have.
while we only went on a few more dates after that i kept coming back to that restaurant, it was my newfound oasis of deliciousness. if anyone ever visited me in college that’s where we would eat. i had my celebratory graduation meal, leaving for ukraine meal, visiting from ukraine meal there — like i said, i’m a frequent visitor. maybe when i go back to the states i can get a job there and learn the secrets to their amazing food.
surprisingly enough, i felt like i got pretty close to divulging their secrets in my own little hobbit house kitchen in ukraine. i found a potato curry on pinterest that sparked my interest (teehee that rhymed), replaced the tomato with tomato paste (winter tomatoes here are WAY too expensive), added some chickpeas i had in the freezer, some peas, curry powder from istanbul and bamalam!! it was an indian celebration in my mouth. afterwards my kitchen smelled so delicious that i closed the kitchen door to savor the smell as much as i could, a curry hotbox if you will. ; )
indian curry with potatoes, chickpeas, and peas
adapted from this simply reem recipe
makes 5-6 servings
- 3 medium size potatoes (russet/white), diced
- 3/4 cup tomato paste plus 2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
- 1 1/2 cup peas
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- 2 tsp curry powder
- salt & pepper to taste
- about 1 1/2 – 2 cups water
- 2 – 2 1/2 tbsp oil
1. ) in a sauce pan heat oil on moderate heat and fry whole cumin seeds till they start to get brown, about 30 seconds.
2. ) add onion and garlic, fry till the onion start to get translucent. about 4-6 minutes, make sure to keep stirring the onions while frying to prevent them from burning.
3. ) add the tomato paste with water and salt along with an extra 1/4 cup of water. cover the pan with a lid and simmer on medium heat for 5 – 6 minutes.
4. ) add the potatoes, chickpeas, and peas giving it a quick stir. add the red chili powder, curry, cinnamon stick and 1 1/2 – 2 cups of water. cover the lid and let it cook on low medium heat for 10 – 12 minutes or till the potatoes are done and fork tender. make sure to keep checking the water while the potatoes are being cooked, if the water dries out too quickly add little more water. be sure not to add too much water, just enough for slight sauciness.
5.) check for the seasoning once again. serve hot with bread, naan or rice. smachnoho! enjoy!