Sweet Potato Madras

This is one of my favorite curries. I invented it as a way to get that wonderful intense curry taste without meat and it is excellent. You can control the heat by reducing the cayenne pepper or using a bit less curry paste. 

Ingredients

2 Tbsp Oil
1 large Onion, chopped
4 cloves Garlic, chopped
1  inch piece of fresh Ginger, grated

2 Medium Sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 cup Tomatoes, crushed

3-4 Tbsp Curry Paste, Pataks is one of the best. I use the Madras Paste.
1/4 tsp Cardamon, ground
1/4 tsp Cinnamon, ground
Pinch of Cloves, ground
1 tsp Garam Marsala
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper, ground
4 Curry Leaves
1/4 tsp Coriander, ground

1/4 cup shredded sweetened Coconut
Juice of one Lemon
Salt and Black  Pepper to taste
Water, as needed.

Begin by placing the onion, garlic and ginger into a food processor and pulse until it is puréed. I have a mini food processor I use for this.

Then heat your oil in a pan which has a lid and once the oil is hot, add your purée and some salt and pepper and sauté it for 7-10 minutes.  Then add your curry paste and spices and sauté for 3-4 minutes.

Add your sweet potatoes and the rest of your ingredients and put on the lid and bring to a simmer. At this point you may add a little water if the curry is too thick, but not too much water. You want it to be the consistency of a stew not a soup.

You can continue cooking for 45 minutes covered on the stove top or you can finish it in a preheated 325 degree oven for 35 minutes.  You just need to make sure the sweet potatoes are cooked through.

Remove from heat or oven and allow it to sit covered for 5 minutes and serve with naan bread and basmati rice.

Cashew Nut Curry, Southern Indian Goodness

This is a favorite curry of mine. I have had it many times, but tried to recreate the one I had in London at Vineet Bhatia Rasoi in Chelsea. I think this is very close. Note: I have added ground spice amounts for those of you who don’t have a whole spice grinder. 


The key to making this a stunning dish, is to make sure the paste is fully cooked, so the spices lose their raw flavor. Making sure the cashew nuts are properly roasted and keeping to the final timing, so the cashews still have some crunch. It is not a difficult recipe, but it’s worth reading it through to make sure the process is clear before you begin.


Ingredients

 
1½ cups roasted Cashew Nuts
1 ½ cups diced Tomatoes, pureed
2 Tbsp Oil, Smart Balance or Coconut Oil
2-3 Tbsp Coconut Milk
1/2 – 1 tsp Salt

Coriander/Cilantro Leaves, chopped
 
For Onion/Garlic /Ginger Paste:
1 tsp Garam Masala
3 Cloves, Approx 1/8 tsp ground cloves.
3 Green Cardamoms, peeled, approx 1/8 tsp ground cardamom.
1 inch Cinnamon Stick, approx 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon.
1 Tbsp Coriander Seeds, approx 1/2 tsp ground coriander.
½ tsp Cumin Seeds, approx 1/4 tsp ground cumin.
2 tsp Sugar
4 Dried Red Chilies
8 Cashew Nuts
2 Onions, medium size, peeled and loosely chopped

3 cloves of Garlic, peeled and chopped
2 tsp Ginger Root, peeled and chopped
4 Curry Leaves

Preheat your oven to 350F and roast your cashews. Watch them closely. Usually, it takes about 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Grind all the dry ingredients (first grouping) listed under onion/garlic/ginger paste until they are powdered and then add to the rest of the ingredients, except the curry leaves, into a small food processor and grind to a smooth paste.
 
Add 2 tbsp of oil, Smart Balance or coconut oil to your pan and bring it to a medium heat and add the ground paste mixture and curry leaves. Cook it on medium to medium low, stirring until the spices begin to become aromatic and its raw smell disappears and the oil starts to separate. It will take about 7 – 8 minutes.
 
Next, mix in tomatoes and cook for 4 minutes. Add salt and sugar. If needed, add just enough water to just loosen the mixture. Do not make it too thin.
 
Add cashew nuts, and coconut milk, and let it simmer for another 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve with basmati rice.