Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Last Supper #8: Vimal Dhar

Indian chef Vimal Dhar listed 7 different dishes for his last supper, of which I selected three to make. All are Indian: Lamb Rogan Josh (chunks of lamb with yogurt, almonds, green chiles, and lots of spices), his recipe for tangy eggplant, and potatoes.

The lamb turned out wonderful. I'm not going to put the recipe here because Lamb Rogan Josh is a farily common dish so recipes aren't hard to come by.

The eggplant recipe appears in the book and I have to say we just didn't like it. The amount of spice paste in it overpowered the eggplant.

I couldn't find the specific potato recipe chef Dhar mentioned, so I chose one for Aloo Timatar (Potato and Tomato Curry with Cilantro) which appears in one of my very favorite cookbooks: From Curries to Kebabs: Recipes from the Indian Spice Trail. The book was a gift from my sister a few years ago and I don't think I've found a recipe in it I don't like. Here's the recipe for the potatoes:
Aloo Timatar (Potato and Tomato Curry with Cilantro)

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 1/2 pounds wxay boiling potatoes
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 3 Tbsp. corn, peanut or olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp. asefetida (substitute garlic powder)
  • 1/2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. whole mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • 1 cup grated fresh tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. plain yogurt
  • 4 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Boil the potatoes, drain them and cool. Don't refrigerate. When cool enough to handle, peel them and cut or break into bite-sized pieces. Put them in a bowl and add the salt, coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper and turmeric. Toss to mix and set aside.

Pour oil in a lidded pot over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add the asefetida (or garlic powder), cumin seeds, and mustard seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop, put in the ginger and stir for a few seconds. Add the grated tomatoes. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes or until the oil separates from the tomato puree. Add the potatoes and stir to mix. Add 1 1/2 cups water, stir and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 20 minutes. (You can extend this cooking time and remove the cover to reduce the broth a bit if wanted. this will give a slightly thicker sauce)

Put the yogurt in a small bowl and beat lightly. Add about 4 Tbsp. of the sauce from the potatoes and mix it in. Stir in the cilantro then pour this mixture into the pot, stir to blend and check for salt.

1 comment:

foodbin said...

goes well with thosai

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