I found this recipe in Things Cooks Love, a beautiful cookbook by Marie Simmons. The book is laid out differently than most, and instead of breaking things down by ingredient, it organizes recipes by the equipment you'll need to cook it. It's a really novel idea that I loved at first until I realized this wonderful sounding Indian dish needed something called a karahi, which they describe as a bit like a wok but with "high sides and two opposing high-looped handles." Of course I didn't have it. Luckily a few alternatives are given, and a skillet or a dutch oven will work in a pinch. Good for me.
What initially drew me to this recipe, even though I didn't have the proper equipment, was the use of cumin and mustard seeds. I thought they would provide a great base for this mixture. And I also loved how everything was cooked in the same pot. The cashews are sautéed quickly and then removed, and then everything is added at a specified time. What's left is a highly aromatic mixture with vibrant colors from the sweet potato and peas and a pungent, slightly spicy sauce. I'm sure a karahi would be nice, but don't let that keep you away.
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/2 cup unsalted raw cashews
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 4 teaspoons peeled, finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with juices
- 1 Serrano pepper, stemmed, seeded, and quartered
- 1 head cauliflower, stems removed and cut into 1-inch florets
- 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup frozen peas
- handful cilantro
Pour the oil into a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the cashews and cook for 30 seconds and then remove with a slotted spoon. Add the cumin and mustard seeds and cook for another 30 seconds.
Add the onions. Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until they are lightly browned. Dump in the tomatoes and serrano pepper. Turn heat to medium high and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.
Add the cauliflower, sweet potatoes, water, and salt. Stir to combine and then cover, turn the heat to medium-low, and cook for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. It might take 20 minutes. Stir halfway through. Add the peas, cover the pot, and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
Serve with a sprinkling of cilantro and the cashews. Season to taste with salt.