The other night I was looking for a potato curry recipe for dinner. Let me tell you that deciding on one was no easy task with Raghavan Iyer's 660 Curries sitting in front of me. There are pages upon pages of potato curries. I'm not going to give you an exact number but I think that potatoes are responsible for a pretty hefty fraction of the 660 curries listed in the book.
Chunky Potatoes with Golden Raisins was a natural choice, I love a dish that incorporates sweet dried fruits into a savory recipe. And it certainly didn't hurt that I had all of the other ingredients for this recipe in the house. The funny thing about this one is that all of the ingredients would feel at home in a Mexican kitchen and an Indian one.
These potatoes were wonderful. The tomato-cilantro-onion sauce cooked down into a decadent gravy with a consistency so creamy, it was a wonder that no butter or cream was involved. I made a few slight adjustments, adding fresh peas (why not?), and throwing in the raisins during the cooking process so they'd plump up with the cooking juices. I served mine with a few other vegetable curries, some rice, and yogurt but these potatoes were the star of the show. They would be wonderful with some tortillas (or naan if you are going for authenticity) and eggs for breakfast, lunch, or pretty much whenever.
Win '660 Curries'
As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of 660 Curries to give away this week.
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup firmly packed fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 dried red Thai or cayenne chiles, stems removed
- 2 lengthwise slices fresh ginger (each 2 inches long, 1 inch wide, and 1/8 inch thick)
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 pound russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, and submerged in a bowl of cold water to prevent browning
- 1/2 cup frozen green peas (no need to thaw)
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
Combine the tomatoes, with their juices, and the onion, cilantro, garlic, chiles, and ginger in a blender jar. Puree, scraping the inside of the jar as needed, to make a reddish-green sauce.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook until they sizzle, turn a reddish brown, and smell nutty, 5 to 10 seconds. Immediately add the pureed tomato-onion sauce. Lower the heat to medium and cook, partially covered to contain some of the spattering, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates and some of the oil starts to separate from the sauce, 15 to 20 minutes.
Stir in 1 cup water. Drain the potatoes and add them. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are fork tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
Stir in the peas and cook, uncovered, until they are warmed through, 2 to 3 minutes.
Top the curry with raisins and serve.