Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Ashook's Pea Curry

Yes, this is as amazing a set-up as it sounds. I love curries and Indian food, and I happen to have landed myself in a guest house where there is another long-term resident here from South Africa from an Indian family - you may remember Ashook of the "Ashook's Chicken Curry" post. He's taken it upon himself to make me a series of authentic curries while I am here at the guest house. I just got the hang of the chicken curry he made a few weeks ago, having made a big pot of it this last weekend, and tonight, he made a simple vegetable curry to share with me. I am coming to a realization that I may have been trying too hard with my attempts at Indian food in the past. Adding spice where not so much was needed for an authentic depth of flavor. While I love the recipes I've tried before, the ones that Ashook is showing me combine very basic flavors and he lets those flavors mingle in the pot for much longer than I am used to, creating a delicious - and refreshingly not overwhelming - end result. This one, for instance, uses only fresh chilis and salt as flavoring for the vegetables, and is (once again) one of the most delicious vegetable curries I've ever had. It is so deceivingly simple, yet so wonderfully tasty. I've been promised a lamb curry next weekend. So, as I learn more from Ashook's School of Curry, I promise to relay it all back to those of you who read this blog and love a good curry as much as I do.

Ashook's Pea Curry

4 - 6 tbsp. vegetable oil, enough to coat the bottom of the pot well
2 onions, cut into long slices
2 large tomatoes, chopped
4 - 6 fresh chilis, cut in half
2 cups frozen peas
Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a pot, and when it is very hot, add the onion slices. When they start to become translucent, add the tomato pieces, stirring over medium-high heat. Add the 4 - 6 chilis (sliced open), and simmer with the tomatoes and onions until the tomatoes are soft. Add the peas and stir the mixture well, and then cover and simmer. Add salt to taste and let the curry simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until the sauce is very thick, and then serve with a cilantro garnish over rice.

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