White Potato Curry

Photographs by Sebastian John

This week has been extremely busy, and bittersweet in many ways. We bought our first home this Wednesday, and in a short while I will have my first kitchen!! (I have been constantly on the move since I finished my undergrad in the early 90’s.). In the last 16 years or so, I have lived in Trichur, Trivandrum (Thiruvananthapuram), Cochin, multiple places in New Delhi, California, Virginia, and Washington DC.

I had visions of creating my version of the Thanksgiving dinner but that never happened. We were just too exhausted from signing papers. We slept through the day of Thanksgiving, and were thankful after our family friends (whom we stay with) took us out for a fabulous dinner. That evening we were told that a relative of ours needed urgent surgery after some medical check-ups. Yesterday we went out shopping for our new kitchen (though eventually we regretted going out because we forgot it was BLACK FRIDAY.)

So today I decided to cook white chicken curry, that I had seen on a Pakistani website. But the chicken that I had bought couple of days back turned bad and I had to throw it into the trash. My love-hate relationship with fridges continues…. I finally threw in the towel and decided to use potatoes instead of the chicken. I knew potatoes cannot do justice to chicken, but at the end the it came out pretty good. We had a good dinner serving the curry with cumin rice and some store-bought carrot pickle.

Ingredients

1. Two large potatoes
2. 1/2 cup yogurt
3. 5 green cardamoms
4. 3 black cardamoms
5. 3 cloves
6. 1 star anise
7. 1 stick cinnamon
8. 2 bay leaves
9. 1 medium size onion
10. 2 jalapeno/3-4 Thail green chili
10. 1 teaspoon ginger and garlic paste
11. Salt
12. Oil

Chop onions and fry them in 3–4 tablespoons of oil till they are soft. Make sure they do not turn brown, otherwise the curry will cease to be “white”. Add cardamoms, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, and bay leaves and fry for about 2 minutes.

Add the potatoes, ginger and garlic paste, and fry them in the spices for about 1 – 2 minutes. Add yogurt and about 1/4 cup of water, and bring to boil. Add salt to taste. Lower the heat, cover and simmer till potatoes are partially done. Remove the cover and continue simmering till potatoes are well done and gravy thickens. Add the chopped chillies and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Serve with rice or rotis (flat breads)

To make cumin rice –

Heat 1 teaspoon of oil/butter in sauce pan and fry cumin seeds. Add water as required for the amount of rice to be cooked and bring it to boil. Add rice, cover and simmer till it is done.

I will be making the chicken version sometime soon……..

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