Aloo Mutter is a popular Indian restaurant favorite…a delicious preparation of peas (Mutter) and potatoes (Aloo), cooked together in Indian aromatics and spices.
In most Indian homes, this wholesome vegetarian treat is made as a home-style curry using the basic onion-tomato curry technique. On the other hand, order Aloo Mutter at a restaurant and you will be served a no-gravy, stir fry-style spiced version of it.
Curried or stir-fried, both styles of Aloo Mutter are equally comforting and best served accompanied by basmati rice or fresh chapattis (whole wheat Indian bread) and a side of steaming hot Daal (Indian lentils.) Personally, I just like my Aloo Mutter in a big bowl along with some crusty buttered bread to soak up all the ‘curry goodness.’
Today’s recipe is a mildly-spiced, finger-licking serving of a simple Home-style Peas and Potato Curry, which is a healthy and home-cooked taste sensation, sure to become a new family favorite.
1 ½ lb potatoes, peeled and cut into even pieces*
1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
1 tablespoon canola oil
2-3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 medium onion, minced to a fine paste in the food processor
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste (2 cloves garlic/ ½ inch ginger, minced)
½ teaspoon ground red chili/cayenne pepper (reduce for less spice)
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1 ¼ teaspoon salt (to taste)
½ teaspoon Garam Masala
3 medium tomatoes, puréed in a food processor or 1 ½ cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
¼ cup chopped cilantro
*Use any type of potatoes you have on hand, peeled russet potatoes work well with Indian food. Today, I’ve used unpeeled baby red potatoes, since I found them at the market.
Heat a pan (which has a tight fitting lid) with canola oil. Stir the bay-leaves and cumin seeds into the oil, let them sizzle. Next, add the minced onions and ginger garlic paste; cook till the onions get nicely browned and dry, about 5-7 minutes.Now add the spices and salt (except garam masala) along with 1-2 tablespoons of water as needed to cook the spices for about 3 minutes.
Toss in the potatoes and 2 cups of water. Cover with a tight fitting lid and let the potatoes cook on medium heat and a rolling boil till they are cooked through and fork tender.
Chef’s note: Many recipes suggest parboiling the potatoes before adding them to a curry for faster cooking. However, the concept of a curry requires that the vegetable or meat should ideally cook along with the aromatics & spices. For faster cooking, use a pressure cooker if you have one on hand.
Next, add the pureed tomatoes/tomato sauce and 1cup of water; let it cook covered for another 10-12 minutes till your desired curry consistency is achieved; check for salt at this stage. Sprinkle and mix in garam masala, lemon/lime juice and cilantro over the Aloo Mutter curry. Turn off the stove, cover and let the flavors blend for 3-4 minutes.
Serve hot with a dash of lemon on the Home-style Peas and Potato Curry accompanied by white or brown Basmati rice (here’s how to cook it) or chapattis (whole wheat Indian bread.)