Day 9 – Potato, Cauliflower and Yoghurt Curry
This started out as a search for some delicious lentil croquettes I once had from a stall run by the local Hare Krishna group way back in my student days. They were unbelievably good – light, moist, fragrantly spiced and utterly addictive. I had all but forgotten about them when I found myself searching for an evening meal idea and my friend gave me a copy of his Hare Krishna cookbook.
I never did come across the recipe for lentil patties in the book, but I did discover this curry and it was a hit with friends at a meal later that night. There wasn’t enough potatoes in the house, so I substituted some pumpkin which gave very satisfactory results. This is a peerless example of why a meat-free meal every once in a while does not have to be a burden – it’s satisfying, looks appetising and is mild enough that everyone will enjoy it.
Adapted from The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking
1 medium-sized cauliflower; 1/3 cup ghee or vegetable oil; 2 tsp cumin seeds OR 1 heaped tsp of cumin powder; 1-2 bird’s-eye chillis, de-seeded and thinly sliced; 2 tsp ground coriander OR 2 tbsp toasted coriander seeds, ground in a mortar and pestle; 1 tsp turmeric; ½ tsp asafoetida (optional); 4 medium-sized potatoes (about 750g), peeled and cut into 2cm cubes OR 500g potatoes and 250g pumpkin, de-seeded, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks; 1/3 cup water; 1 ½ tsp sea salt; 1 cup (250 ml) plain yoghurt; ¾ tsp garam masala; 1 lemon, quartered, to serve (optional)
Trim the cauliflower and cut into florets about 4cm long. Rinse well under running water, then drain in a colander and set aside.
Heat the ghee or oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add cumin seeds or powder and chillis and fry them for about half a minute until the mixture becomes fragrant. Add the coriander, turmeric, asafoetida and potatoes and toss well to combine.
Cook the potatoes for the next two to three minutes, turning them occasionally and letting them colour and brown a little. Add the cauliflower and pumpkin if using and stir-fry for another couple of minutes until the cauliflower is coloured with the spice mixture.
Add the water and salt and cover the saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for the next 15 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until the cauliflower is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
Stir through the yoghurt and garam masala and simmer gently over a low heat until the sauce thickens.
Serve with steamed rice and a lemon quarter for each person to squeeze over the top.
$7.00 for four people