If you are cooking an good spicy Indian Curry or other spicy dish what you usually don’t want is a side that competes with the flavors. A nice mild or slightly spiced rice is nice. Or maybe some potatoes. Or maybe some potatoes and mushrooms. All three of these tend to soak up the flavor of whatever they are served with and simply enhance your main dish. This is why this dish of Jaffrey’s is so good with something spicy. It just soaks up the flavor….


    mushrooms and potatoes cooked with garlic and ginger
    2 medium potatoes
    350 g (12 oz) mushrooms
    2.5 cm (1 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled
    6 large cloves garlic, peeled
    3 tablespoons plus 250 ml (11/4 cups) water
    About 1 teaspoon salt
    About 1/3 teaspoon ground turmeric
    4 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    3 cardamom pods
    3 small tomatoes, peeled (page 30)
    and finely chopped
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon gro.und coriander
    About 1J4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1/4 teaspoon yaram masala (page 21)
    Optional garnish: 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro

Boil the potatoes in their jackets. Drain and peel them. Cut them into 2.5 cm (1 inch) cubes. {I baked mine let them cool a tad and then peeled and cubed them.}
Wipe the mushrooms with a damp cloth. Cut off the lower, woody part of the stems. Now, depending upon their size, halve or quarter the mushrooms, or, if they are small. leave them whole. They should be about the size of the diced potatoes.
Put the ginger and qarlic into the container of a food processor or electric blender along with 3 tablespoons water. Blend until you have a fine puree.
Put the diced potatoes in a bowl. Sprinkle about 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and about l/8 teaspoon of the turmeric over them. Toss to mix and set aside.
Put the oil in a heavy, wide, preferably nonstick, pot and set over medium heat. When hot, put in the potatoes. Stir and fry them until they are lightly browned on all sides. Remove the potato pieces with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate.
Put the cumin seeds and cardamom pods into the same pot Stir them for 3-4 seconds. Now put in the tomatoes, the ginger-garlic paste, the ground cumin, and the ground coriander. Stir and fry until the paste becomes thick and the oil separates from it. Add 1/4 teaspoon turmeric and the cayenne. Stir once or twice.
Put in 250 ml (1 cup) water, the potatoes, mushrooms, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Stir to mix and bring to a simmer. Cover, turn heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove the cover and turn heat up slightly. Cook, stirring gently, until you have a thick sauce. Sprinkle in the garam masala and stir to mix. Taste for salt.
Serve garnished with cilantro, if you wish.
{Note: the cardamom pods are not meant to be eaten.}

Jaffrey says,

    “This is one of those “home-style” dishes that you rarely find in Indian restaurants. It is a thick, earthy stew…”

And she is completely right. It is a nice ‘homey’ dish that is easy and tasty. The recipe is from Jaffrey’s Indina Cooking on page 149.

The theme this week for I Heart Cooking Clubs was Potluck. I hope you will visit with the other members and see what they made this week. And if you want to join us we are cooking from Madjur Jaffrey’s recipes til th end of March.