Weekday Vegetarian: Aloo Matar (Potato Pea Curry)

Photo: Kelly Rossiter/CC BY 2.0

It pays to actually read the recipe before and during cooking, something which I sometimes forget. I brought my computer down to the kitchen so I could use the online recipe for Aloo Matar I found at Serious Eats. Then, while the food was cooking gently on the stove, I took my computer back to my office to finish my post on gnocchi for yesterday. Thinking all I had to do was wait for everything to finish cooking and then serve it, that's what I did.

My husband and daughter and I were sitting there eating our aloo matar and I said it was missing something. We decided that something was salt, so we all added some and found it a bit better. Still, something missing. We added a few drops of lime juice, which improved it still. Hello, Kelly! Read the recipe. I didn't add the garam masala, the cream or the cilantro. No doubt if you add them as you are supposed to, your aloo matar will be complete.

I also served it over brown rice, because I didn't have enough basmati. I think it would have been tastier with some garlic naan. All in all, it was a meal that was a promise unfulfilled, but the recipe was certainly worth making, just making right.

Aloo Matar (Potato and Pea Curry)
1 large tomato, or about 3 canned plum tomatoes, chopped
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2-inch fresh ginger, peeled
1-inch piece cinnamon
2 cloves
2 green cardamom pods
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 medium onion, ends trimmed, cut into thin half moons
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
3 cups frozen peas
2 tablespoons cream
fresh cilantro, for garnish

1. In a blender, combine the tomato, garlic, and ginger. Puree until smooth. Set aside.

2. In a large cast-iron skillet set over medium heat, add the cinnamon, clove, and cardamom. Dry roast, stirring constantly, until very fragrant, about one minute. Pour in the canola oil, and add in the cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds start to sizzle, add the onions. Stir well until the onions are evenly coated with the fragrant oil. Turn the heat to medium-high, and cook until the onions are just starting to brown, two to four minutes. Stir occasionally.

3. Add the cubed potatoes, and cook, stirring often, for three minutes. Pour in the contents of the blender, and stir until incorporated. Then add the salt, turmeric, cayenne pepper, and 1/4 cup of water. Stir until everything is combined, and then reduce heat to medium. Cook at a steady simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are starting to become tender, and the oil starts to separate from the sauce, about 12 minutes. You may need to turn the heat down to low to keep it from boiling.

4. Pour in two more cups of water and the peas. Maintain a simmer until the potatoes are completely cooked, about 10 minutes. Add the cream and garam masala, and simmer gently for an additional two minutes. Season to taste with more salt, if necessary. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.

Tags: Weekday Vegetarian

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