Thursday, April 2, 2009

Potato Panir and Pea Curry

This is a fabulous recipe for those who are novices at cooking Indian food or eating it for that matter. The flavors are just intense enough without being overpowering or too hot (you can leave the cayenne out if desired). I serve this with basmati rice. This recipe also uses tofu in a "non-threatening" way, since it is really a substitute for the cheese curd, panir, which would normally be in a dish like this.

Potato Panir & Pea Curry
2 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 Tbsp peanut or canola oil
1 Tbsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
3 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cloves
a pinch of thyme
1 1/4 tsp salt
5 medium garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 cups firm yogurt
cayenne to taste
2 cups peas (fresh or frozen)
1/2 lb extra firm tofu, crumbled

  • Place the potato slices in a large saucepan and fill it with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook until just tender. Drain and set aside
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large deep skillet. Stir in the seeds and spices, and cook over low heat for several minutes or until seeds begin to pop.
  • Add the cooked potatoes, along with the salt and garlic. Keep the heat medium low and gently stir the potatoes until they are thoroughly coated with all the seasonings.
  • Add the lemon juice and yogurt and cover. Let it cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to let the potatoes get too mushy or you will end up with Indian spiced mashed potatoes. Add cayenne to taste.
  • Stir in the peas and tofu. Cook for just a few minutes longer.

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