Simple Bombay Aloo

Ingredients:

Yellow potatoes, scrubbed and quartered (or eighted 🙂 depending on size)
a chopped onion
a handful of fresh or frozen peas

optional: other vegetables might include carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, whatever you want
a good bit of madras curry powder (to taste, maybe starting from a teaspoon per estimated serving) (8 parts coriander, 4 parts cumin, 1 part cayenne, and 2 parts turmeric)
a big handful of cilantro leaves optional garnish
yogurt
raisins (optional)

Method:

This comes out great with everything but cilantro and garnish cooked in a pressure cooker; otherwise “sautee” the onion and curry powder in a little apple cider vinegar, then add the potatoes and optional vegetables and a little vegetable broth. Simmer until the potatoes are almost done; add peas. simmer about five minutes. Stir in cilantro; serve immediately with yogurt if desired.

AKA: Potato Curry.

Source: “Elisabeth.”

Biryani

From: [email protected] (Ajay Shah)

Ingredients

1 kg meat (chicken/lamb/prawns)
4 cups rice (ideally basmati)
10 cloves garlic
2″ piece of ginger
10 dried red chillies
3 large onions
3 large tomatoes
10 mint leaves
pinch of saffron
6 large potatoes
1 tspturmeric powder
4 tbs cooking medium (butter tastes best)
6 cardamoms
6 cloves
4″ stick of cinnamon
salt to taste
An amount of water which is “correct”. If basmati rice, then it’s 1.8 cups of water per cup of rice.

Method

Preprocessing:
1. Make a paste of the garlic, ginger and chillies.
2. Chop the onions and the tomatoes (don’t mix ’em up). The onions should be rings, ideally.
3. Peel, cut and wash the potatoes in 1.5″ pieces.
4. Clean and wash the rice.

Processing:
1. Clean and cut the meat into 1.5″ pieces. If the chicken is bony (i.e., not boneless) ignore this step.
2. Fry the onions till golden brown. This is a long and painful process, but keep the faith. Remove the onions, drain of oil, and put ’em aside. Chuck the ginger-garlic-chilly paste into the same oil. Fry for 6 minutes. Put in the meat and fry for K minutes. If lamb, K = 10; otherwise K = 5. In either case, you want the meat to be half cooked before starting stage 3.
3. Add chopped tomatoes, cloves, cinnamon, cardamoms, turmeric, mint leaves and salt and fry for 5 minutes. Add a little water and cook till the meat is 75% cooked. This will take a short while for chicken/prawns, and longer for lamb.
4. Now add the rice and potatoes. Add the rest of the water and cook (covered) till the rice is ready. A slow flame will work better than a powerful one. Stir occasionally.
5. Serve hot, garnished with the fried onions.

(This recipe is from the Taj Hotel in Bombay!).
Ajay Shah, (213)734-3930, [email protected]

Deep-fried appetizer

This is a second Indian recipe. It is an unfailing favorite everywhere we make it. It is a deep-fried appetizer, great with cocktails, and for best effect, should be served with a fresh chutney, such as coriander leaves ground with fresh ginger, chopped green chilli pepper, some yogurt and maybe some mint leaves.

Cut into matchsticks: 1 large potato 1 small eggplant 1 onion There should be about equal amounts of each.

Mix together about 1/4 cup of white flour with 1/2 cup of chick pea flour (called *bessan* and quite a unique thing, which has the aroma and aftertaste of sprouted mung beans) and 1/2 tsp salt, some coarsely ground black pepper, 1 tsp ground coriander seed, 1 tsp ground cumin, and about 1 Tbsp of whole coriander seeds.

Mix the flours and seeds into the vegetables, sprinkle on a couple of Tbsps of water–VERY LITTLE water–and mix together with your hands until it just holds together. It’s gooey.

Fry tablespoons of this mixture in about 3/4 inch of very hot vegetable oil until golden brown–about 5 minutes. Drain and serve hot.
This comes from a lavish cookbook produced by the New York restaurant called The Bombay Palace, and which has sister restaurants in Europe. The food at the restaurant is wonderful, but the cookbook, for the most part (edited by the food critic Stendal) is a bust. The recipes do not make up well, usually, with some exceptions. This is one.

Ajay Shah, (213)734-3930, [email protected]