Aloo Matar

Serves 4

This is a delicious, flavorful Indian dish. It is really worthwhile to prep everything, such as the Spice Batches, ahead of time, so that you can just dump things in as needed and have a low-stress cooking experience. Not the fastest meal, but it smells amazing. Ground garam masala is sold at Indian food supply stores.

¼ C oil
Spice Batch No. 1 (whole garam masala)
1 finely chopped onion
1 tbsp finely grated ginger
4 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
Spice Batch No. 2
1 ½ C diced tomatoes, blended (fresh or canned)
¼ C water
Spice Batch No. 3
2 red potatoes, peeled and chopped into ½-inch chunks
¼ C cashews, ground into a powder then blended with ¼ C water
1 C frozen peas
¼ C water, or as needed for thinning
Spice Batch No. 4

Spice Batch No. 1 (whole garam masala):
2 bay leaves
¾-inch cinnamon stick
6 cloves
8 cardamom pods

Spice Batch No. 2:
1 tsp cumin seeds

Spice Batch No. 3:
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander
½ tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp asafetida (optional)

Spice Batch No. 4:
½ tsp ground garam masala
½ tsp fenugreek leaves (optional)

Heat ¼ C oil over medium-high heat in a large pot with a lid. After 2-3 minutes of preheating, add Spice Batch No. 1 and fry for 2-3 minutes, until bay leaves and cardamom change color. Remove and dispose of bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cloves, and cardamom.

Add the onion, ginger, garlic, and Spice Batch No. 2, and saute’ until the onion becomes a rich golden brown.

Add the tomatoes, water, and Spice Batch No. 3; this is now a curry base for the dish. Stir, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for 15-20 minutes, loosely covered. It should simmer, but not boil.

Meanwhile, add the potatoes to another pot that also has a lid, adding enough water to almost cover them. Bring to a boil and place lid loosely on top. Cook until the potatoes are tender, but not falling apart, about 15-20 minutes.

Check on the curry. You know it’s done when the oil begins to separate and form little pools on top of the mixture. Do not proceed until this happens.

When the oil “comes out,” add the cashew cream, stir well, and add the peas and drained potatoes. Mix well. If the mixture seems too thick, add up to ¼ C more water.

Add Spice Batch No. 4, stir, and simmer for another 2 to 4 minutes. Serve with rice or Indian flat bread.

Credit: Vegan Yum Yum by Lauren Ulm

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