Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Food Post! Masala Potatoes with Peas and Cilantro

This recipe is from the Vegetarian Times Fast and Easy cookbook, and it is indeed both fast and easy. It includes ingredients that I usually have on hand (other than fresh cilantro), and I've made it several times. The peas add a nice, moist pop to the potato base, and the mustard seeds add a tiny crunch. Most recently, I made it with a 17-month-old assistant who has a limited vocabulary, but really enjoys cooking.

Ingredients:

2 large russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
2 T canola oil
1 1/2 t black mustard seeds
1/2 t cumin seeds
1 medium onion, diced (1 1/2 cups)
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t grated fresh ginger
1/2 t ground turmeric
1/2 t curry powder
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Put potatoes in large pot with enough salted water to cover by one inch. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 7-9 minutes (until tender). Drain and set aside. I didn't have large potatoes so I went with four smaller ones. My young assistant watched avidly as I chopped them into rounds and stuck them in the water, which I was told was "hot."


My 1/4 inch is highly variable


2. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat; add mustard and cumin seeds. Stir until mustard seeds start to pop (2 to 3 minutes). Add onion and pepper, stir til onion is translucent (5-7 min). Add garlic, turmeric, curry, and ginger, and cook a few more minutes, stirring occasionally.

My assistant held the measuring spoons for the cumin and mustard seeds, as well as the curry powder. He helped me sauté the onions, from a safe distance (they were also "hot").


Are they translucent yet? How about now?




















3. Reduce heat to low, and add potatoes and water. Stir to combine. Add peas and cilantro, stir gently, and season with salt and pepper.


The Final Product
My assistant was not a fan, but he's young, so maybe he'll learn to like it. In the meantime, more for me! I'm sure that this would be a good side dish for something (and indeed it is in the "side dishes" section of the cookbook), but I've been eating it as a main dish . . . because I can. The recipe also invites you to serve with flour tortillas, but obviously naan would be a better choice. Serves four.