In our household Friday is a fasting day and its also the last day of the working week. Growing up my mum had a asset menu for this day. Sugar beans and potato curry. Come rain or shine every Friday she would have a pot of sugar beans curry on the stove and stand at the kitchen counter rolling out rotis.
I of course hated Fridays, I was forced to fast…these were the days before I could drive and before Mr D, where I had to eat what was put in front of me or starve to death while trying to throw a tantrum.
I survived those years and now that I am in charge on the menus, I make sure that we only eat sugar beans and roti once a year.
When Thursday came around and my dad saw me chopping up onions and prepping for Friday’s lunch he kept pestering me as to what I was making. I hate giving out information as to what I have planned as these parents of mine are more stubborn that 2 year olds when it comes to what I make them eat.
I hinted that it was chickpeas to which his response was “ Oh please not your funny food again. I want to eat proper food.” My mother’s response was,” make a pot of sugar beans curry and roti.” To which I ignored both of them and carried on peeling, dicing and chopping away.
Fine okay, I did plan on making roit anyway, so it is not like I gave into part of their pleas.
I came across this recipe in the 2nd Edition Durban cookbook and at first glance, you could see that a non-Indian made this….no offense and it is not my intention to sound racist but facts are facts. I find that as soon as I look through a recipe and especially an Indian recipe and I come across certain ingredients that you would very seldom find in an Indian curry, I know immediately that this was not an Indian person.
Take for example this recipe, it requires that you make a cashew coconut cream to drizzle over the top. Now lets just imagine I have to make that cream and serve it to my parents. They would refuse to eat it and I would have the Indian cooking rules recited to me by my dad over and over and over again to ensure that I never ever again in this life time serve him coconut cashew cream on an Indian curry.
Another give away is the quantity of turmeric powder. I know yes it is a super healthy ingredient but too much in a dish makes the food bitter and can make your stomach run. So when people say more than 1 tsp in a curry be very careful those are fake Indians… just kidding, just use a little less.
I think, I could be wrong here, but in the last say 5 or 6 years Indian cooking is slowly becoming Western, curries are becoming milder and less fragrant, the taste of curries are being hidden under coconut creams and cashew creams and any other cream known to man kind. It is a known fact that meats for curries are normally marinated in buttermilk or yoghurt but hey, what do I know. I have been known to add tamarind to mint chutney and changing the entire taste of it. That story is for another blog post, another LONG blog post.
So the most important part of this story, is that I followed the recipe, right up until the part it said ingredients for the coconut cream.
The verdict, I loved it, my mother loved it, my dad the critic well he kept telling me I added too too much tamarind paste, when I mentioned that this recipe contained zero if not less than zero tamarind paste and he was shocked. He kept telling me it tasted funny he could not just put his finger on it, I eventually gave in and told him I had to stri through garam masala when the dish was finished cooking and you know what that started, I got a lecture on to always put less than what the recipe says and never never to put raw spices into a dish, always always let the spices cook and infuse with the food right and the beginning of the dish.
Lord can only help me, I swear to God that once this lockdown is over and takeaways are up and running and I ask my dad what he wants to order and he says that he does not know, I am going to tie him to a chair and force feed him tamarind paste with garam masala.
- 2 x tbsp. olive oil.
- 1 x onion, finely chopped.
- A few curry leaves.
- 1 x tbsp. cumin powder.
- 1 x tbsp. ginger garlic paste.
- 2 x green chillies, sliced.
- 1 x tbsp. coriander powder.
- 1 x tbsp. chilli power.
- ½ x tsp turmeric powder.
- 1 x can diced tomatoes.
- 4 – 5 x potatoes, peeled and cubed.
- 1 x tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed.
- Salt to taste.
- 2 x tsp garam masala.
- Fresh coriander to garnish.
- Heat oil in a pot.
- Add the onions, curry leaves and salt and sauté till the onions are soft and transparent.
- Add the tomatoes, cover and cook till the tomatoes have released their water.
- Add the spices expect the garam masala.
- Give it a good stir.
- Add the ginger garlic paste and mix.
- Add the potatoes and toss so that it is coasted with all the spices.
- Add enough water to cover the potatoes.
- Cover the pot and allow to cook till the potatoes are almost cooked.
- Add the drained chickpeas and cook till the potatoes are soft and all the water has cooked off.
- Mix in the garam masala and garnish with chopped coriander.