Mushroom and Potato Curry

We in the West, that is to say those of us of northern European extraction, are inclined to construct our meals around a slab of protein accompanied by a starch and green vegetable. In most other cultures the starch is the central element to be enhanced by protein and vegetables. Inasmuch as our bodies run primarily on carbohydrates—fad diets notwithstanding—this make a lot of sense. The potato has an interesting place in this scheme of things since it can be either a starch or a vegetable. In India no one would dream of replacing rice—or in the north, bread—with potatoes, but that does not stop them from enjoying the ubiquitous tuber. This recipe, which I adapted from Charmaine Solomon, The Complete Asian Cookbook (Dee Why West, NSW: Landsdowne Press, 1976), shows the potato shining in its vegetable role.

Serves two

Ingredients

White mushrooms, 250 g (8 ounces)

Firm white potatoes, 250 g (8 ounces or one large)

Oil or ghee

Onion, 1 medium, halved and thinly sliced

Garlic, 1 clove minced

Ginger, 5 ml (1 teaspoon) grated

Hot chili, 1 minced (to taste)

Coriander leaves, 30 ml (1 Tablespoon) chopped

Tomatoes, 150 g (½ cup) diced, canned are fine

Turmeric, ground, 5 ml (1 teaspoon)

Water

Green peas, fresh or frozen, 150 g (½ cup)

Garam masala, 5 ml (1 teaspoon)

Method

Clean the mushrooms and cut them into quarters or thick slices depending on their size. Wash the potatoes and cut into 25 mm (1-inch) cubes. Set both aside.

Heat the oil or ghee in a frying pan over medium heat and cook the onion for about 3 minutes or until softened but not browned. Add the garlic, ginger, chili, and coriander. Fry for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomatoes and turmeric then add the mushrooms and potatoes. Add a bit of water, if needed, to half-submerge the potatoes. Cover and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

Add the peas to the pan and sprinkle on the garam masala. Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes or so. Remove the cover and check that the potatoes are done—they should pierce easily with the tip of a small knife. If not done, replace the cover and cook a bit longer. If they are done, raise the heat a bit to drive off excess moisture. Serve with basmati rice and assorted Indian pickle.

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2 responses to “Mushroom and Potato Curry

  1. Deena Kakaya September 25, 2013 at 17:57

    With this curry, I sometimes put the pickle into the curry whilst it cooks, it’s a lovely curry x

  2. Leo Cotnoir September 25, 2013 at 18:31

    Thank you. That is a great idea. I will try it.

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