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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Gujarati Mutter Curry

Although my family owns a Lilva farm in India, I can't find them fresh or frozen here in France (yet).  They are so good I just ate them raw out of the pod, directly after picking them.  They're a key source of protein in Inida, and especially in Gujarat.  Fresh they are called lilva.  Dried, they are toor dal.  They're naturally sweet and have much more flavor than their less fornuate western counterparts, but in the meantime, I'll be subbing regular green peas.
The itch is back in full force... Although it never really went away.  I've already made my paneer for the main event, paneer makhani.  That one is easy since I bought the instant "just add paneer" packet. Next time I'll do a well researched paneer dish, since there are just so many and I keep discovering more everyday.  Yes, everyday.  I am going to get my hands nice and floury making rotis to accompany my little thali tonight.  Naan will happen, but I want a pizza stone first, or a tandoor, but I'd have to find a place where I could store it... Or even legally use it.
1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 cup chopped cauliflower
1 cup chopped carrot
1 chopped tomato
1/2 chopped onion
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp ginger
1/2 tsp hing
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala
2 whole dried red chilis
3-4 dried curry leaves
3 Tbsp oil
3 Tbsp heavy cream
2 cups water or whey
1.  Heat oil in a large heavy based pan or wok.  Place all the seeds, curry leaves, and dried chilis until it starts to snap crackle and pop.  Add the chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala, hing, and onions.
2.  When it starts to dry out, add the turmeric, tomato, and fresh ginger.  Add a bit of whey to avoid burning.  Cook for a few minutes until tomato disintegrates.
3.  Add the carrots and cauliflower.  Stir to coat everything well.  Add whey gradually if the mixture gets too dry.  Lower the heat and cook, adding whey from time to time and stirring, approximately 15 minutes.
4.  Add the peas and rest of the whey and cook for another 5 minutes.
5.  Stir in heavy cream and taste.  Add salt if needed.

Serve with Roti, Naan, and Jeera Rice

I think hing is an essential ingredient in any Gujarati dish.  It brings out depth in a dish that no other spice or root can do.  If you buy it whole overseas, make sure to package it tightly so it doesn't destroy your clothes.  It has a poignant smell that is hard to remove from fabric, but in a dish, it just makes sense.
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