However, the surprise lay in the gravy, which I concocted solely to get rid of the tomatoes, coriander and celery I had at home – I expected it to be a mess both to look at and to taste but was pleasantly shocked to find that only one of those doubts turned into reality. This was not attractive to my eye, but think herbs (tres chic, gourmet), green leafy vegetables (healthy) and exotic (the combination), and I had a keeper. I’m also told it looked somewhat like the pav’s bhaji, a suspicion I harboured but couldn’t confirm till an observer told me.
It’s a fulfilling curry and you can even have it by itself if you want to keep away from rice or bread. It takes just one big potato, very little oil and is bursting with health and vitamins, to borrow a phrase.
Here’s how I made it:
One big potato, about 200 gm
Onions, chopped fine: Two
Tomatoes, medium-sized, minced/pureed: Five
Coriander, chopped: 1-1/2 cups, stalks and all
Celery: 2 stalks, with leaves, chopped
Savoury mint chutney, Indian style: 1 tsp (Substitute: 10-12 mint leaves and a spoon of lime juice)
Cumin seed: 1 tsp
Salt: to taste
Turmeric: ½ tsp
Chilli powder: 1-2 tsp
Oil: 2 tsp or less
Grind celery and coriander with a little water in the mixer to a fine paste. If you’re using fresh mint, add this to the mix. (I used the mint chutney because it was beginning to dry up.)
Peel potato, prick with fork all over, microwave for 3 minutes on either side, with a resting period of 3 minutes in between. Let cool, mash with a pinch of salt and mint chutney.
In a pan, heat the oil, pop the cumin and fry the onions till transparent.
Add the ground paste, fry well.
Add the tomatoes, salt and spices and let them cook to mush. Add a cup or two of water and let it boil down almost to the consistency you want.
So when it’s not quite thick enough, add the mashed potato-mint mixture bit by bit. Be mindful that the potatoes will do their bit to thicken the gravy.
Mix well, simmer till it’s as thick as you want. Remove from heat.
Strangely enough, without the usual additions of ginger and garlic, curry powder/garam masala or other whole spices, this was quite spicy. I wonder why. And the other revelation was the taste of celery – having never used it much before, and much less in curry, the only word I have to describe its taste is “interesting” – I would use it again.
I’m sending this off to Kalyn’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by Kalyn herself – it’s the second anniversary round.
Weekend Herb Blogging Tomatoes Coriander celery Mint Mint chutney Humour