Friday, May 13, 2011

A spicy change of pace: Indian flavors

If you are new to Indian flavors, this simple dish is a nice introduction.  It's not too spicy, though you can amend it to your preference, and it incorporates warm seasonings - cumin, curry powder, and garam masala - common to Indian cooking.

At first glance, two teaspoons salt seems like too much.  However, I tested the dish with less and found the larger amount necessary to bring all the seasonings together to achieve the proper flavor.  If you have time, make this a day ahead so the flavors can meld.

Potato Carrot Curry

1 pound potatoes (2 large), peeled and cubed
3 medium carrots, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more, if desired)
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans
1 cup light coconut milk

Place potatoes and carrots in large saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, lower heat, and cover.  Simmer about 15 minutes until vegetables are just tender; drain.

While potatoes and carrots simmer, coat large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray.  Add onions and garlic and cook over medium heat until onions are translucent.  Stir in ginger, cumin, curry powder, garam masala, salt, and cayenne; continue stirring for one minute to allow spices to coat vegetables.

Add tomatoes, garbanzo beans, coconut milk, and drained potatoes and carrots to spiced mixture.  Bring back to a simmer and continue to cook for 15 minutes.  Serve in soup bowl as is or ladled over rice.  Makes 6 1/2 cups, or 6 (just over 1 cup) servings, 3 points plus each.

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