Yield
Serves 8
Time
15 minutes prep, 30 minutes cooking, 45 minutes total
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.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons raw peanuts (without the skin)
  • 4 medium-size cloves garlic
  • 3 dried red Thai or cayenne chiles, stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
  • 1 pound russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes, and submerged in a bowl of cold water to prevent browning
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher or sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • 12 medium-size to large fresh curry leaves

Instructions

1. Combine the sesame seeds, peanut, garlic, and chiles in a food processor, and pulse to form a gritty, sticky, mellow-smelling blend.

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.

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.