Along came Aloo Matar and screamed “I need a new life. I want to have fun, meet some spunky ingredients and get sassy”. I could not say No! I do like to say the word ever so often that I think my kid has started to think that it’s my way of saying yes! Or, she probably thinks that it is a verbal virus that I caught on. My repeated pleas and proof that it actually is a word that means what it says, falls on somewhat non listening ears. But I digress …
So this little dish needed a makeover, and much as I love the word No ( Honest ! I have not been attacked by a caught phrase virus), I could not say it. I thought to myself.. Well this dish does need to go on a culinary journey and meet the smoky hot guy named Clove. What happened next?
Read on to find out!
…. we sat together, the ingredients and I, thinking about how best to bring about a makeover and put forward the very best foot, so the guy named clove, who is hot and smoky would be interested. Sitting flamboyant in its layers of dressy peels, was the onion. Hmm! We needed contemporary and the layers of dressy peels would not cut it. I think I have watched too many episodes of ‘what not to wear’ ; I could hear Stacy London talking in my brain. Plus I was in no mood to cry my eyes out! With genuine apologies, the onion was asked to rest up for a twirling time another day with another dish. Then we met the tomatoes, ripe juicy and oh so pretty. We let them join the party, but made it invitation only. So In came 2 of the prettiest tomatoes with glossy skin and shiny colors. Now we needed a contrast to make it understated glamorous. Frozen green peas and yellow potatoes joined in. We had our main ingredients and it was the time to bring the zing in – delicious oil, Toasty cumin, roasted coriander, a dash of salt, a pinch of turmeric, a smidgen of fiery good red chili, a touch of black cumin, a few dancing pepper corns, a squirt of lime ; all arrived in time. And to allow all of them to make merry together, a bottle of tomato juice was popped open. We had them all seated, let them mingle and do their thing and just at the right moment, came in the smoky sweet clove. And the makeover was complete.
The ever so popular Aloo Mattar became the deep mysterious Aloo Mattar! After a taste test … Well ! Stacy London would say “ Shuttt Up!” And my hubz said, “ Smokin Hawt”. I don’t know if he meant me or the dish. I think it was me.. wait.. I think he meant the dish.! Sigh.. I need a makeover!
Here is what all went into making this:
Aloo Matar – Smokin’
- 2 C diced potatoes
- 1/2 C chopped tomatoes
- 1 C frozen peas
- 1 C tomato juice
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 Tbs coriander
- 1 tsp whole pepper corns
- 1/2 tsp black cumin
- 2-3 cloves
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- salt to taste
- 2-3 tsp oil
- 1 tsp lemon juice optional
Dry roast the cumin and coriander. [ non stick pan, low heat, put them on, keep stirring, wait until toasty and color changes slightly]
Grind the cumin, coriander, peppercorn and cloves.
Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pan and add the potatoes. Stir, cover and cook on medium heat until just about tender. Keep checking on them and stirring them once a while. Add in the tomatoes and let them cook until they are mixed in with potatoes.
Add the black cumin, the ground spices, turmeric, chili powder, salt and peas. Mix everything in. Cook for about two minutes until the spices are lightly fragrant. Add the tomato juice and a dash of lemon juice. Simmer for another 5 - 7 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender and the spices and peas and everything is harmonized.