Saturday, September 28, 2013

Aloo Matar Rasedaa - Curried Potatoes and Elephant Safari

Aloo Mater Rasedaa - Curried Potatoes.

The Silver Fox loves nature. I love the Silver Fox. The bit about jungles and safari was buried in the fine print of our marriage contract. I missed it. He didn't. That's how I ended up in the middle of a jungle on the back of an elephant who cared a good deal more about her offspring than me or my welfare. We had signed on for a four day stay at a Nepali eco-lodge, hoping that would be enough time to see at least some on the wildlife the camp was famous for. As luck would have it, we got to see everything our first morning on safari. That was wonderful. Folks can spend years trying to catch glimpses of the tigers or white rhinos in the reserve. We hit a homer our first time at bat. Our good luck, however, meant we had to come up with other plans to fill the time we had left in camp. Four days can be an eternity in a place that has only intermittent electricity and hot water. It does not encourage the reading or writing of the great American novel and bubble baths are not de rigueur. I spent my time in the primitive kitchen and at the elephant camp watching the antics of a two year old who was such a minx you couldn't help but love her. She's now old enough to walk behind her mother on expedition. If she's hungry she nurses and everyone waits till she's had her fill. If she finds a pile of dirt or an especially lush leaf, she'll stop and play. Everybody waits. If they're lucky they'll escape the dirt she blows their way as an invitation to play. It's also interesting to watch the behavior of the other elephants when she is around. If they scent boar or other animals that might be dangerous, they close ranks and form a protective circle around her. When I tire of the elephants, I wander down to the primitive kitchen and watch them prepare meals for 40 or so guests. There are no appliances to speak of. There are 5 cooks who report to head chef who barks orders but also cooks. The six of then produce breakfast and two large buffets every day. The food they cook must be walked uphill to the dining room. When the meals are over, dishes are walked to another facility to be washed and stored away. The arrangement is uniquely inefficient but the job gets done, even in rainy season. Eco-tours are not for everyone, but if you love nature and being outdoors you'd love to spend some time on jungle safari. I glad I did it. Once!

The food prepared in the kitchen at Temple Tiger was, of necessity, easy to make. It lacked refinement, but it was delicious and there was always plenty of it. I especially like their recipe for curried potatoes and peas. It can be served with any meal, but it is a wonderful addition to the Nepali set I've been talking about building. It perfectly fits the curry component of the dish. Here is the recipe.

Aloo Matar Rasedaa - Curried Potatoes and Peas


2 pounds baby Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled and quartered

2 tablespoon ghee or olive oil

1 medium onion, finely minced

1 teaspoon finely minced ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1-1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne or ground red pepper

1 teaspoon cumin seed

1 can (15-oz.) chopped tomatoes, undrained

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1/4 teaspoon garam masala


1) Boil potatoes in lightly salted water until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2) Heat oil in a large pot. Add onions and ginger and cook until softened. Stir in turmeric, cayenne, cumin powder, coriander and cumin seed and cook until fragrant.

3) Add potatoes to skillet and stir to coat with spices. Add tomatoes and sugar and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in peas and garam masala. Cook 5 minutes longer. Add additional water if sauce becomes too thick. Season with salt to taste. Serve hot. Yield: 4 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:

Curried Vegetables With Whole Wheat and Couscous - Simply Recipes

Indian Style Curried Vegetables - What's Cookin, Chicago?

Curried Potato and Vegetable Soup - Simply Recipes

Aloo Gobi - No Recipes

Fresh Vegetable Curry - The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen

Mixed Vegetable Curry - What's Cooking Today

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