July 2003 Archives

Aloo matar

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Aloo matar

Aloo is potato and matar are peas, so the main ingredients of this basic vegetarian curry should not be much of a mystery.

  • 750g potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
  • 2 tablespoons oil or ghee
  • 2 medium-sized onions, cut into rings
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 cup (125ml) water
  • 100g peas
  • salt
  • pepper

Peel the potatoes and cut them into smallish cubes. Heat a pan and add the mustard seeds. Heat until they begin to pop, then add ghee, onions, garlic and ginger and fry until the onions become transparent.

Add the potatoes, turmeric, chili powder, ground cumin and garam masala. Stir well over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes. Then add water and let cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft. Most of the water should evaporate; take good care that nothing burns.

Add the peas; stir well. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. Cover and let simmer for another 5 minutes. Take care that nothing burns at the bottom of the pot; add a tiny bit of water if necessary. When finished, the potatoes should be soft and all the liquid should be absorbed or evaporated.

Serve with rice.

Fish stifado

Fish stifado

Stifado is a Greek dish (a kind of stew) that involves a lot of onions. The usual stifado is prepared with beef or rabbit; here's a variant with fish. It's a pretty easy, straightforward recipe. Serves four.

  • 1kg sea bass slices or similar fish
  • 5 medium-sized onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ cup (125ml) good olive oil
  • 500g purĂ©ed tomatoes (or passata)
  • 4 tablespoons red wine
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon bark
  • salt
  • pepper

Heat the oil to moderate temperature and brown the chopped onions and garlic. Add all the other ingredients except the fish plus 1 cups of water and let cook for 15 minutes. Then add the fish and let simmer for another 20 minutes.