Once in a great while a curry comes along that blows everyone's palate, including my own. This Maharashtrian-influenced potato dish will appeal to all, and I have no qualms betting my first-born on it. Even though it is a great side dish, I often stuff it into slices of pita bread for a substantial lunch, along with a bowl of creamy kidney beans.
2. Heat the oil in a medium-size saucepan over medium-low heat. Scrape the sesame-peanut blend into the warmed oil and roast the mixture, stirring, until it starts to release its own oils and loosen, turning crumbly and nutty brown, 5 to 8 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, drain the potatoes.
4. Stir the turmeric into the sesame-peanut blend and cook for 5 seconds. Then add the potatoes, tomatoes (with their juices), 1 cup water, and the salt. Stir once or twice, raise the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are fork-tender and the sauce has thickened, 25 to 30 minutes.
5. Stir in the cilantro and curry leaves, and serve.
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From 660 Curries: The Gateway to the World of Indian Food by Raghavan Iyer (Workman Publishing Company, 2008). Copyright 2008 by Raghavan Iyer. All rights reserved.
Raghavan Iyer is a cookbook author, writer, culinary educator, spokesperson and consultant. He is the author of several cookbooks, including The Tumeric Trail, a 2003 James Beard award finalist for Best International Cookbook. His articles have appeared in publications such as Cooking Light, Fine Cooking, Saveur, Weight Watchers Magazine, Cooking Pleasures and Gastronomica. He received the IACP's Award of Excellence for Cooking Teacher of the Year in 2004, and was a finalist for the 2005 James Beard journalism award. He is co-founder of the Asian Culinary Arts Institutes, Ltd.