Thursday, April 7, 2016

Sri Lankan Potato and Cashew Curry

I'm currently enrolled in a tap dancing class, but the last two weeks we had didn't have classes.  We were encouraged to practice, but I didn't.  It's amazing what you can forget in just two weeks.

We are learning a dance, and I forgot over half of the steps.  I could tell that I wasn't the only pupil who didn't practice.  I think the teacher was a little frustrated by our deterioration.  

About a year ago, I ate Sri Lankan food for the first time.  It was at a restaurant called The Banana Leaf.  I ate a rice and chicken dish.  It was memorable because it was cooked and presented in a banana leaf.

I don't know if this recipe is authentic.  I found it on a blog called Runnin Srilankan.  I made a few slight adjustments.  According to Wikipedia, Sri Lankan cuisine has been influenced by the Dutch, foreign trader, and southern India.   I didn't know this, but Sri Lanka was a Dutch colony.  Sri Lanka has historically been a trading post, and thus interacted with foreign traders for many years.

The cuisine uses lots of rice, coconut, and spices.  Sri Lanka historically produced many spices.  Sri Lankans eat curries; koffu, a stir fry with roti bread and vegetables; hoppers, dish made with fermented batter; lamprais, a steamed rice and meatball dish; and kool a soup made with seafood broth; among many other dishes.

This dish is made with 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, 1 red onion, 4 garlic cloves, 1 inch peace ginger, 1 tablespoon mustard, 1 green bell pepper, 7 red potatoes,  2 cups chicken stock, 1 13.4 ounce can coconut milk, 1 teaspoon garam masala, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1 6-ounce can tomato paste, and 1/2 cup cashews.  I used more cashew as a garnish.

 I sauced the chopped onion, minced garlic, and grated ginger in the olive oil for 15 minutes over medium-high heat.

I added the chopped green pepper, cubed potatoes, and mustard.  I sautéed the mixture for a few minutes.  I was supposed to use mustard seed instead of mustard, but I think they are pretty similar, right?

I added the coconut milk, vegetable stock, spices, and tomato paste.  I let these ingredients simmer for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, I added the cashews and simmered the curry for five more minutes.

I garnished each portion with additional cashews.

This was a savory and delectable curry.  The spices were fragrant and tempting.

The broth was creamy, tropical, and spicy.  The potatoes were velvety and smooth.

It was hearty and appetizing despite being vegetarian.

 The cashews were crisp and salty.  There were many desirable aromas and seasonings.

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