Sunday, January 5, 2014

Simple Potato Curry

I used to live in Sri Lanka for two years and, naturally, I got totally enamored with their curries. There are many different styles of curries varying from region to region throughout Asia, and varying with the locally available ingredients. In the hotter climates it's coconut milk and hot spices are the norm but in the cooler north, the spices are milder and coconut is no longer available at the markets.Ceylon curries are almost like South Indian curries (the two areas are separated by a short distance), liquidy, spicy and with the inevitable coconut milk.

Cooking a real, authentic curry is a time-consuming kitchen chore. In fact, no one in Sri Lanka serves just one curry dish; rather several curries and often a sambol or chutney surround the steamed rice along with some fried bready accompaniment such.

Yet we can make a simple curry as a side dish that won't tax your kitchen chores. This potato curry goes with just about any main dish, whether curried or not. And you can assemble the ingredients and cook them within half hour.

Simple Potato Curry

Use only fresh spices. I always use whole seeds that I freshly grind for the best flavor.

1 tsp curry powder
1 lb russet potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 medium (5 oz) yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 fresh hot chili (jalapeno), thinly sliced
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 tsp ground hot chili
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp dill seeds
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt

Over brisk heat roast curry powder for a few seconds in a medium pot, then quickly add potatoes, onion and jalapeno slices, coconut milk and the remaining spices and salt. Turn heat to low simmer, cover pot and cook for 20 minutes. Adjust liquid if necessary.

Serves four.

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