This is a relatively straightforward recipe from the cookbook “660 Curries”. Both Derek and I really enjoyed it. It tasted authentically Indian, without being overwhelmingly rich.
- 1 pound russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 2-inch cubes (The original recipe says to peel and submerge in cold water to prevent browning, then pat potatoes dry. I skipped those steps and just made sure my potatoes were nice and dry)
- 2 Tbsp. oil
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1.5 tsp. coarse salt (We used 3/4 tsp. fine salt, and it wasn’t quite enough)
- 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger (I used 1.5 or 2 tsp. minced ginger)
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne (I used less for Alma, maybe 1/8 or 1/4 tsp?)
- 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
- 2 fresh green Thai or serrano chiles, sliced thinly crosswise (with seeds!) (I used 1 jalapeno, without seeds)
- 2 fresh or dried bay leaves
- 2 cups water
- 4 cups shredded cabbage
- 1 cup frozen green peas (no need to thaw)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
- 2 Tbsp. ghee or unsalted butter (I used 1 Tbsp. ghee)
- 1/2 tsp. Bangala garam masala (see below)
- Preheat a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and let it heat until it starts to shimmer. Sprinkle in the cumin seeds and cook until they sizzle, turn reddish brown, and smell nutty, about 5 to 10 seconds.
- Immediately add the potatoes, salt, ginger, cayenne, turmeric, chiles, and bay leaves. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spices roast and the potatoes brown, 8 to 12 minutes.
- Pour in 2 cups of water. Stir, and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze it. Stir in the cabbage and bring the curry to a boil over medium heat. Continue to simmer vigorously, uncovered, stirring occasoinally, until the vegetables are fork tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Stir in the peas, cilantro, ghee and sweet scented spice blend. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the peas are warmed through, about 5 minutes.
Bangala garam masala (sweet scented spice blend):
Note that this makes quite a bit more than called for in the recipe above:
- 1/4 tsp. whole cloves
- 1/4 tsp. cardamom seeds from green or white pods
- 1 cinnamon stick (3 inches long), broken into several smaller pieces
- Grind all the ingredients in a spice or coffee grinder. Sift the spices through a fine-mesh strainer. Regrind the coarse mixture left behind in the strainer. Repeat.
Despite cutting down on the chiles and cayenne pepper, this dish still turned out somewhat spicy. It was a bit too spicy for Alma. Nonetheless, she did eat some of the peas and potatoes. She didn’t like the stringy texture of the cabbage though. On a second try she tasted the potatoes and the peas and then said it was too spicy. I think next time I will leave out the cayenne altogether and see if she will eat it. Maybe also dilute her dish with more peas?
We served this dish with chickpeas. I mixed mine into the curry, and I thought it tasted good. The curry was seasoned well enough that the unseasoned chickpeas didn’t make it bland.
The original recipe fits well in my cast iron skillet, but doesn’t quite make enough for Derek and I to have leftovers for lunch. Next time I’m going to try to increase everything by 25%, and hope that it still fits in my cast iron pan. And I will take out our lunch servings before we eat dinner! If it doesn’t I will switch to multiplying by 1.5 and making it in my dutch oven. I might also try serving it with a little yogurt.
Amounts to try next time:
- 1.25 pounds russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 2-inch cubes (The original recipe says to peel and submerge in cold water to prevent browning, then pat potatoes dry. I skipped those steps and just made sure my potatoes were nice and dry)
- 2 Tbsp. oil (I’m going to leave this as is, and not increase it by 25%)
- 1 1/4 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 tsp. fine sea salt
- 1.5 tsp. grated fresh ginger
- 5/8 tsp. cayenne (I’m going to omit this and put cayenne on our individual bowls)
- 5/8 tsp. ground turmeric
- 2.5 fresh green Thai or serrano chiles, sliced thinly crosswise (with seeds!) (I will omit this)
- 2 fresh or dried bay leaves
- 2 cups water
- 5 cups shredded cabbage
- 1.25 cups frozen green peas (no need to thaw)
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
- 4 tsp. ghee or unsalted butter
- 5/8 tsp. Bangala garam masala (see below)