Aloo mattar (Potatoes and peas)

A simple, comforting dish that most people love. It’s something that’s grown on me over the last few years and I don’t make it as often as I should.

Aloo mattar aka potato and peas

6 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cubed

1.5 cups frozen peas

1 onion, finely chopped

2-3 green chillies, finely chopped (adjust to taste)

1 tbsp ginger paste

1 tsp garlic paste

1 cup chopped tomatoes (1/2 can)

1 tbsp tomato puree

2 tbsp oil

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp coriander powder

2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

handful of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped

1 tbsp kasoori methi

Heat oil in a pot, add the cumin seeds. As soon as they start to sizzle, stir in the onions and green chillies. Saute until the onions are soft, translucent and golden in colour. Add the ginger and garlic paste, and continue to saute for a minute before stirring in the chopped tomatoes. Cover the pot and let the tomatoes soften and cook down until the oil separates. You should be able to mash them with the back of your spoon kind of soft.

I use a hand blender and blitz it to a smooth gravy at this point, but that’s optional.

Stir in the spices and cook them for a few seconds before adding the tomato paste. Add the peas and 3-4 cups of water, along with the potatoes. Stir well, cover the pot and let it cook on medium heat until potatoes have cooked through (about 15-20 minutes). Sprinkle the fresh coriander leaves and the kasoori methi. Season with salt and black pepper. Adjust the thickness of gravy to your taste by adding water. If you want it thicker, remove the lid and let the water bubble away.

Let it bubble away for a few more minutes before serving with rice or freshly made chapattis. The leftovers are fabulous the next day for breakfast with fresh paranthas.

Easy garlicky Aubergine curry

This recipe does not follow normal ‘traditional’ cooking methods. I make it this way often, as its easy, convenient and its the way I like it. I don’t add many spices/masalas, and the ones I do add are already roasted so I just sprinkle them on instead of cooking them or roasting them in oil. The heat is from the green chillies, which works well for me.

1 medium size aubergine/eggplant;

2 medium sized onions (preferably red ones);

1 inch piece of ginger, grated;

5-6 cloves of garlic, minced;

2 green chillies, chopped;

2 tbsp cooking oil (I like grapeseed)

1 cup passata sauce or 4/5 medium size tomatoes, finely chopped;

1/4 cup base gravy (optional)

Heat the oil in a wok, add roughly chopped pieces of aubergine and start to stir fry on medium heat. Same time, start slicing the red onions and drop them in with the aubergine. Add the ginger, garlic, green chillies to this. Sprinkle a little salt and cover the wok. Let this cook on medium heat for 10 minutes or so. I have an induction stove, so you may need to adjust the heat levels but idea is that the steam buildup inside cooks it through slowly. I like some of the edges caramelising a little, as it gives it a nice flavour.

Stir and add the tomatoes. Salt, black pepper to taste and I also sprinkle some garam masala, roasted cumin powder, roasted coriander powder and Kashmiri red chilli powder to taste. Once it is combined well, cover and let it cook on low/medium heat for about an hour. Stir from time to time.

Sprinkle some fresh coriander leaves and serve. I always have frozen coriander leaves, so I stir them in before serving. They don’t look so good all wilted on top, as a garnish 😉

To garnish – Heat some ghee and fry some thinly sliced garlic. Add on top before serving.

SLOWCOOKER METHOD: Just put everything all together in the slow cooker and let it cook for 4 hours on high heat. May need to stir it once/twice. Depending on the quantity/size of cooker, I have left it on for 8 hours overnight when making a large batch on low heat, and it was beautiful the next morning. The constant cooking was a bit too aromatic for me and I found it hard to sleep though!