One of the dishes that I cook over and over again is this richly decadent Tomato Coconut Cream Curry.
It is an ideal recipe for someone who is new to cooking Indian food -- or just new to cooking -- because of its sheer simplicity. There's no grinding, complicated spice mixes and marinating required. Once you have all the ingredients on hand, it takes just minutes from start to finish.
All you need to accompany this curry is some boiled white rice, like basmati, and some papad or some oven-roasted potatoes, for a dinner that's out of this world.
One quick note: While I often use canned tomatoes while cooking, especially during winter when fresh tomatoes are not easy to come by or just too expensive, this is one of those dishes where fresh tomatoes are absolutely necessary. Because canned tomatoes taste too acidic, the resulting preparation would just not have the luscious sweetness that makes this dish so special.
Tomato Coconut Cream Curry
2 medium tomatoes, well-ripened and diced
1 14-oz can coconut milk (you can substitute with light coconut milk but the end result will be more acidic, although still delicious)
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 pinch asafetida or hing (optional)
1 tsp canola oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
Salt to taste
Heat the oil in a saucepan.
Add the cumin seeds and asafetida.
When the cumin sputters, add the tomatoes, chili powder and turmeric.
Let the tomatoes cook on medium heat about 5-7 minutes until most of the tomatoes have broken down.
Add the coconut milk and salt.
Warm through but turn off the heat before it comes to a boil.
Serve hot with rice.