Monday, May 14, 2012

Hurried Curry!

What a fiasco and I'm not even PMS-ing!  I had a mean craving for Indian food this weekend.  It started Friday at some point and carried its way all through last night.  While the city I live in is huge in size and near in population, it is still Podunk and only boasts a plethora of burger joints and BBQ.  Ethnic food and vegetarian restaurants are virtually  nonexistent with the exception of a Chinese buffets, a Turkish restaurant and one Indian place. 

Due to the fact that growing up, I was fed a standard American diet deficient in ethnic and exotic foods, I am still very mystified by the selections on many an ethnic menu.  While I have sampled many worldly cuisines and am familiar with the ingredients, spices, textures, etc; I am clueless as to what the actual names are: Aloo, Naan, Paneer??? 

I knew what I craved and the mediocre lentil dish I made from a cookbook I have did not even come close to cutting it.  So, I was on my own to satisfy the urge to delve face first into a bowl of curry.  It had to be curry-ific.  It had to be dippable, I wanted to scoop it with bread.  I wanted chunky, but smooth at the same time.  I became impatient trying to figure out what the hell the dish was exactly that my taste buds yearned for so I created this dish.  I don't know if it's a normal Indian dish or not.  I don't know if its a 'take' on a dish.  I have no idea.  I made it.  It was perfect and delicious and I am eating leftovers now.   I am determined to learn more about the main types of food, but for now, I will scoop my sweet potato curry and clear my sinuses with its potency.  If anyone is familiar with Indian food and knows what this might be classified as, I would love to know!

Can you tell I was hungry and in a hurry?  Sweet potatoes should be fully mashed for this, but I wasn't about to make my taste buds wait.

Sweet Potato Roti (I think...or maybe it's naan?)

2 C unbleached flour
1 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 C cubed, steamed and mashed sweet potatoes
1 Tbsp canola oil
1/4 C non-dairy milk

Mix flour with garam masala, salt and baking powder.  In a separate bowl, mix mashed sweet potatoes with oil and 'milk'.  Add dry ingredients to wet, stir and knead to combine.  Divide dough into about 4 equal size balls and use a rolling pin  to flatten to a thick bread.  Turn onto a medium-heat preheated, oiled or sprayed skillet and cook about 4-5 minutes on each side. 
*Likewise, you could put it into 375 degree over for about 10 minutes on each side.  I tried both and they both turned out fine. 

Curried Sweet Potatoes
Serves 4
2 Medium sweet potatoes
1/2 C vegetable broth
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne (or more to taste)
dash cinnamon
1 can diced tomatoes*
1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed

*I was out of regular diced tomatoes so I use a can with diced green chilies.  Either will work fine.

Fill a large saucepan a couple of inches with water and insert steamer basket.  Cube sweet potatoes and throw into steamer basket.  Bring water to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer.  Steam for about 10-15 minutes.  You can lift the lid and poke with a fork to check for done-ness.  You want them to be soft enough to mash. 

Remove from heat, discard water (or use in place if you're out of veg broth) and mix with vegetable broth.  Combine all of the spices. 

Heat a skillet over medium heat and throw in your sweet potato mash, diced tomatoes in juice and drained chickpeas.  Dump on your spice and stir until heated through.  Turn heat down and allow to simmer about 10 minutes to blend flavors.  (Longer may be better, but I was not wasting time!)

Serve over brown rice or as a dip.


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