Monday, August 3, 2009

Potato Curry

My absolute favorite meal is Dum Aloo, a spicy stewed potato dish, from a tiny, family owned Indian restaurant beside the Food Lion on Capital Boulevard in Raleigh, North Carolina. My take on this traditional Indian dish is vegan, soy free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, and wheat free. The secret to the deep flavor is cooking the onions until you almost burn them before adding the other ingredients. They will be tiny black flecks in the finished product. Also, good quality tomatoes are needed for a deep tomato flavor. If you value your clothes, be sure to take the pan off the heat and let it cool a bit after frying the potatoes. If you don’t, the sauce will bubble up at you. Turmeric stains. Serve this curry with basmati rice if available. Also, if no dairy allergies are present, you can add a little cream at the table. A traditional desert to serve with Indian food is fruit. Favorites include bananas and mangos.

4 tablespoons oil
2 medium onions, diced
½ teaspoon Asian style chili sauce
½ teaspoon garlic, diced
½ inch ginger, diced
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 good quality vine ripe tomatoes
½ cup water
6-8 small to medium potatoes, quartered
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon sugar

Heat two tablespoons of oil on medium to medium high heat in a heavy pan and fry the onions until brown. Add the chili sauce, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, black pepper, cumin, and cinnamon and stir-fry for 3 more minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Allow ingredients to cool slightly. Add contents of pan and ½ cup of water to the blender and blend until smooth. Meanwhile, clean pan and heat two tablespoons of oil on medium high heat. Fry potatoes with ½ teaspoon of salt, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Add sauce from blender, ½ teaspoon salt, and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Serves 4.