Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Recipe for the Potato Karhi

The potato karhi I made yesterday turned out brilliantly. I think it had something to do with the starch of the potato... and the warmth of the garam masala... and the punch of the chilies... and the fact that the yogurt was quite, quite sour (as Ms. Jaffrey suggests).

So -- since I altered the recipe quite enough that I can claim it as my own -- I'll share it with you.

Start with three potatoes, peeled -- if you're like me and don't have a potato peeler you can use a knife to hack at them; in which case you'll probably need to use four potatoes. Cut them up into small, relatively-even "in the grand scheme of things" pieces and toss them into a large mixing bowl.

Add whatever sour plain yogurt you have sitting in the back of the refrigerator; mine came out to about 2 cups.

Add enough water until the mixing bowl is about 2/3 full. Stir until the yogurt and water are smooth.

Take a generous amount of chickpea flour (about 1 cup); add it little by little , stirring slowly into the yogurt... until you get impatient and dump the rest of the measuring cup in at once, mashing the lumps against the sides of the mixing bowl.

Cover the bottom of a small soup pot with oil (your choice; I'm not starting that debate up again). Start heating the oil. Get out your spices. Realize the oil is going to burn away before you can get all of the spices un-Ziplocked and ready to go. Turn the heat off.

Put the following spices into a clean mug: 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 big pinch fenugreek seeds, one small pinch haldi (pause to clean haldi from fingers, countertop), several shakes of garlic powder, several shakes of ground ginger, one shake of asefoetida, and as many ground chilies as you're brave enough to throw in.

Turn entire contents of mug into soup pot.

Pause, remember, and start the burner again.

When the cumin seeds make popping noises, add the yogurt-flour-water-potato mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover, except for the part where you have to stir every three minutes so the potatoes won't burn.

Cook the Basmati according to the directions on the package. Ignore the advice you recently got that you would be much better off if you didn't eat so much rice and you should instead eat your karhi on a chappati or, better yet, a piece of whole-grain bread -- because you tried that, and it was just not any fun. Karhi needs fluffy white rice. It's, like, part of the deal.

After about ten minutes, add a giant pinch of garam masala to the karhi. Continue to stir. After twenty minutes, grab a fork and spear one of the potato cubes. Eye it, blow on it, eye it again, and pop it into your mouth. Howl for a moment because A. it is very, very hot and B. no, of course the potatoes aren't yet fully cooked.

Continue to stir. Everything will start to smell really good right about now.

After thirty minutes (give or take), it should be done. Add salt and eat. If necessary, howl for a moment because it is -- still -- very, very hot.



Daniel said...

cooking would be a lot more fun if recipies were more like yours--

and a lot easier to follow.


Oh, and please please tell me that your friends aren't calling you Blue now. I almost wrote your real name and then I didn't b/c you're "Blue" on this blog... and then...

Well, anyway. It conjured images of a cartoon dog.

Much ruv,

Blue said...

I am at least as cute as Blue of Blue's Clues. Perhaps I should start leaving pawprints everywhere.

And no, no one's actually calling me Blue. As far as I know. But it makes a fun little nom de plume, doesn't it? ^__^

Dare you to make the karhi.

Daniel said...

i might make it--we certainly do have tons of indian food supply stores here in manhattan--the problem is: my boyfriend keeps kosher. Getting the food with rabbinic certification of kosher might be an issue.

We do go to these fabulous vegetarian indian restaurants, though...and they're just fabtastic.

I love me some palak paneer--if you have a recipie for the palak, and if you could perfect it and then post it, lemme know! :) I love me some palak

Blue said...

Everything I've been cooking is 100% vegetarian, so... hmmm. Yogurt should be fine, potatoes obviously should be fine, rice should be fine... so it's the flour and spices that need certification, right? (This is from a brief wiki-check.) That may be difficult.