Monday, May 11, 2009
My recipe for the day is a classic from Kashmir, the beautiful state in the north of India: Dum Aloo.
Although potatoes are the chief ingredient in Dum Aloo, it is not usually a vegan dish because it includes cream or yogurt, or sometimes both. While one can easily substitute the yogurt with soy yogurt, which works exactly like yogurt in cooked dishes, I prefer instead to use coconut milk and some lemon juice here. The creaminess of the coconut milk is perfect with the spongily delicious texture of the potatoes.
To achieve that texture, the potatoes are usually deep-fried first. I take a healthier shortcut: I marinate the potatoes in some simple spices and roast them in the oven, in their jackets. The baking cooks them and gives the potato skins a crunchy texture, which emulates the deep-frying without the fat, and works beautifully in the final dish. Perfect.
It's Monday night, and it's getting late, so here goes the recipe. Enjoy, everyone, and have a great week!
Kashmiri Dum Aloo
10-15 baby potatoes (If you can't find these, use the smallest potatoes you can find, and halve or quarter them. Then follow the rest of the recipe instructions). If using whole baby potatoes, poke them all over with a fork.
Mix 2 tsp of canola oil + 1/4 tsp red chilli powder + 1/4 tsp turmeric + salt to taste and toss the potatoes in the mixture. Place in a 400-degree oven and roast 30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through. (Pierce with a fork to test).
1 cup coconut milk
For the masala, grind together using just enough water to keep the blades moving:
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp coriander powder
15-20 almonds, soaked for about half an hour
1 tbsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
1/2 chopped mint or coriander for garnish
1 tbsp lemon juice
Heat the oil in a saucepan.
Add the ground masala and stir for a couple of minutes.
Add half the coconut milk and then the potatoes.
Once the sauce starts to bubble, turn the heat to the lowest setting and place a tight-fitting lid over the saucepan. Let cook 20 minutes. Add some water if the sauce dries up.
Add the remaining coconut milk, more salt if needed, and the mint/coriander leaves. Stir well and turn off the heat.
Serve hot with chapatis or with whole-wheat puris, as I did. This also pairs really well with some South Indian Coconut Rice.