Indian food is something I have only recently gotten into eating. Growing up in a virtually Portuguese-food-only environment, and shying away from strong spices as a young’un, robbed me of years of enjoying the food I have come to love.
Since I am still new at getting to know my Indian flavours, despite growing up with many Indo-Canadian friends who always had an amazing array of food for dinner, it can be difficult to know what I like just yet. One thing is for certain: this curry rocks my world.
Taken from the America’s Test Kitchen Light & Healthy 2010 magazine (also available in a full-length hardcover), this curry dish has so much flavour and very little work involved. The Test Kitchen and Cook’s Illustrated books are essentially my food bibles. They can do no wrong. In fact, you can do no wrong either. You see, for those who are unfamiliar with the format in these books, each recipe is preceded by lovely and informative article that basically tells you how to avoid messing up the recipe. What it also describes are alternatives to the recipes and run-ins, if any, the testers had. All in all the America’s Test Kitchen appeals to the meticulous and paranoid side of me in terms of getting things just right and not trusting a recipe with little or no introduction.
Soon there will be more blog entries popping up with my attempts at America’s Test Kitchen recipes, seeing as I bought four books and a stack of magazines with the task of actually using them. They really are an asset to every cook’s kitchen, especially beginner’s or those who need idiot-proof recipes.
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Light & Healthy 2010 (magazine)
1 (14.5 oz/400 ml) can diced tomatoes, about 1 1/2 cups
3 tbsp canola oil
4 tsp sweet or mild curry powder
1 1/2 tsp garam masala (we both recommend McCormick’s brand)
2 onions, minced (about 2 cups)
1 1/2 c (12 oz) red or Yukon Gold potatoes (2-3 medium), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp grated or minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
1 serrano chili, stemmed and minced (if you like less spiciness, omit seeds)
1 small head cauliflower, trimmed, cored, and cut into 1-inch florets (about 4 cups)
1 1/4 c water
1 (14 oz/400 ml) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c frozen peas
1/2 c plain or Greek style yogurt
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
- Pulse the tomatoes, or since I am still food processor-less, chop or snip them with kitchen shears until mostly smooth. If you like a little bit of tomato chunks in your curry, by all means skip this step and leave them diced or buy crushed tomatoes instead.
- Heat 2 tbsp canola oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Add the curry and garam masala and cook until they become fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the onions and potatoes and saute, stirring occasionally, until the onions and potatoes have softened slightly, about 10 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Make a well in the centre of the pot and add the remaining 1 tbsp oil, garlic, ginger, tomato paste, and chili. Cook until fragrant, another 30 seconds, then add cauliflower and cook until cauliflower has absorbed some colour from the mixture, about 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes, water, chickpeas, and salt. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until everything has softened and is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Add the peas and allow to heat through for about 2 more minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the cilantro and yogurt, and serve with basmati rice. I made a quick, lightly spiced yogurt to go with the rice:
1 c plain or Greek style yogurt
1/8 tsp ground cumin (or to taste)
1/8 tsp garlic powder (or to taste)
Squeeze of lemon or lime juice to tasteCombine, then add a dollop to your rice or curry and it’s a perfect neutralizer to the curry.