I recently received a copy of the second edition of Easy Indian Cooking. I had a few pounds of new potatoes that needed to be used so I started flipping through the cookbook, hoping to find inspiration. And well…I found plenty. Indian food is something I haven’t gotten comfortable cooking, especially when Kirk waxes on about how good the real stuff is from business travels. Yeah, he has a high bench mark for it. And I always feel let down when eating out. It is kind of like going out for Mexican. You know it isn’t authentic, but rather the same in every town. I want something exotic, but all I get is a limited menu heavy on Paneer cheese. It was a wonderful feeling to suddenly be inspired to use my spices and not feel overwhelmed by learning more of a culture. The recipes are easy to follow and very inspiring. And while the book has meat recipes, it is surprisingly has many “accidental” vegetarian and vegan recipes, which more than out number ones with meat. With sections on beans/lentils, vegetarian dishes, vegetables, chutney and even Street Foods, you won’t get bored. The Potatoes in Tomato Gravy sounded intriguing and I had most everything on hand. I slightly adapted it, by adding an onion and green peas, the flavor was phenomenal spooned over rice. I mean, really, really good! The leftovers were even better the next day for lunch!
The sections on herbs, spices and ingredients is invaluable, it will get your mind thinking and your spice pantry even more loaded!
Potatoes in Tomato Gravy (Adapted from page 167)
- 1 Tbsp oil (used olive)
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced (my addition)
- 1½ tsp cumin seeds (used ground)
- 1½ Tbsp green chilies, finely sliced (or use a healthy pinch cayenne pepper as I did)
- 2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
- ¾ tsp turmeric
- 2 pounds potatoes, cut into 1″ cubes (I used red, blue and yellow new potatoes)
- 1-2 tsp fine sea salt
- 5 Tbsp cilantro, divided
- 1½ cups frozen green peas (my addition)
- Hot rice (I made 2 cups rice + 4 cups water, 1 Tbsp oil + salt)
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, sauté until turning golden. Add cumin and chilies (or cayenne pepper), sauté for about a minute.
Add tomatoes, with juice and turmeric, mix well. Bring to a boil, cook for about 2 minutes.
Add potatoes and 1 teaspoon of salt and ¼ cup of the cilantro. Return to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until potatoes are soft/fork-tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Add in peas, cover and let heat through for a few minutes. Taste for salt, add more if desired.
Fluff up rice, spread on plates, top with potatoes. Serve with hot naan bread on the side.
Serves 6 to 8.
FTC Disclaimer: We received a review copy.