October 2003 Archives

Potato and pumpkin curry

Potato and pumpkin curry

This is one way to get rid of all the pumpkins they are selling you everywhere at this time of the year. A pretty tasty way, I might add.

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 small piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 3-5 fresh green chilies, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 4-5 potatoes, peeled and cut into smallish pieces
  • 400g peeled tomatoes
  • ½ Hokkaido pumpkin, washed, deseeded and cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom seeds
  • 1 tablespoon methi (fenugreek) leaves
  • salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2-3 bunches green coriander, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala

In a wok or large pan, heat some vegetable oil and fry the cumin seeds and onion until transparent; then add the garlic, ginger and green chilies and fry until golden. Add 1 teaspoon coriander powder, cumin powder and turmeric. Fry for 3-5 minutes.

Add the potatoes and stir well. Whizz the tomatoes in a blender and add to the potatoes. Stir, then let simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the pumpkin cubes, paprika, cardamom, methi leaves and some water (if necessary). Salt to taste. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.

When both the potatoes and the pumpkin are soft to the bite, add 1 teaspoon coriander powder, the lemon juice, the green coriander and the garam masala. Stir well, turn off the heat, cover and let stand for a few minutes, then serve with rice and/or chapatis.

Note: Instead of 4-5 potatoes and half a Hokkaido pumpkin, you can also use no potatoes and one whole Hokkaido pumpkin.

Pumpkin caveat: The Hokkaido pumpkin is perfect because it's not too large, very tasty and does not need to be peeled before cooking. If you use a different kind of pumpkin, you may have to peel it and adjust cooking times.

Moong Dhal (Mung Dal)

Moong Dhal (Mung Dal)

A fairly straightforward lentil dish.

  • 250g moong dhal (yellow lentils) or, alternatively, red lentils
  • 1 small piece ginger, cut in longish stripes
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 2-3 bunches green coriander, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or vegetable oil
  • salt
  • optional: ½ teaspoon fennel seeds

Wash the lentils and put them in a pot with approx. ½ litre water; as soon as it starts to boil, add turmeric powder and ginger stripes. Let simmer for 30-40 minutes, adding water if necessary, until the lentils are competely soft and there is no extra water in the pot.

In a small frying pan, heat the ghee or oil; add onion and garlic and fry until light brown. Then add cumin seeds, coriander powder and chili powder (you can also add the fennel seeds at this point to reduce the danger of flatulence). Fry for 2-3 more minutes.

Pour the contents of the frying pan into the pot with the boiled lentils. Add the chopped green coriander, salt to taste, stir well, then serve.

Best used as a side dish to accompany another curry or Indian-style dish.

Tomato soup

Tomato soup

Tomato soup can be simple or sophisticated. This is a traditional Austrian recipe with a few extras that you might not expect.

  • 1 1/4 litre veal stock (use veg broth for strictly vegetarian soup)
  • ½ onion
  • ½ carrot
  • ½ parsley root
  • 1/4 celery root
  • 500g tomatoes
  • 4 black pepper corns
  • ½ bay leaf
  • 50g butter
  • 40g flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • salt
  • 40g cooked rice or 40g broken, cooked maccaroni

Chop the onion and cut the carrot, parsley root and celery root in thin slices. Heat some oil and fry them briefly; then add the crushed peppercorns, bay leaf and the washed, diced tomatoes. Let cook for a while until soft, then put everything in a blender and whizz thouroghly.

Melt the butter in the pot, then add the flour and fry briefly until light brown; then immediately add the mixture from the blender and the veal stock or veg broth. Stir well, then let simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Briefly before serving add salt, sugar, lemon juice and boiled rice or boiled maccaroni.