Saturday, February 19, 2011

Local Pumpkin Curry and Tamarind-Date Chutney

For my first order of business, I'll start off by announcing that I have moved! That's why I haven't blogged in so long...moving is busy busy busy! I now live in Indianapolis, Indiana. This city is awesome, and I'm particularly excited to discover all the tasty food here! Of course.

This was one of the first meals I made since moving, and it was a big hit. I had a bunch of new friends over for a South Indian feast, and I think it made a good first food impression!

This subzi, or vegetable curry, is made with local pumpkin I froze this fall. Combined with potatoes and lots of spices, it makes a fantastic main dish. I served this tasty curry with cardamom-scented basmati rice, homemade roti (whole wheat flat bread), mixed pickle, and a tamarind-date chutney. Of course, there was chai for dessert, too! If you can get your hands on fresh or frozen pumpkin, you should make this right away. It's so delicious and healthy, too!!
Pumpkin-Potato Curry (serves 6-8)
3 Tbs vegetable oil
2 Tbs black mustard seeds
1 Tbs cumin seeds
1 Tbs urad dal (split black lentils)
1 Tbs turmeric
12 fresh curry leaves, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
6 chiles, minced (or to taste)
4 potatoes, diced
6 cups fresh or frozen pumpkin, large diced
1 cup vegetable broth
1 Tbs jaggery or agave nectar
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
12 fresh curry leaves, chopped

Heat oil in a large, deep skillet or wok over medium-high flame. Add mustard seeds and cook 30 seconds until they begin to pop. Add cumin seeds, urad dal, turmeric, and curry leaves. Cook 30 more seconds until the dal begin to brown. Add onion and saute 5 minutes until lightly golden and softened. Add the garlic and chiles and saute 1 minute to slightly brown. Add potatoes and pumpkin and saute 5 minutes (adding a few Tbs of water if too dry). Add broth, jaggery, salt, pepper, coriander, and cayenne. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce to a simmer for 20-25 minutes until the potatoes are tender and the liquid has reduced by at least half. Add the second batch of curry leaves and cook 5 more minutes, uncovered. Season/salt to taste and serve. Goes great with rice, roti, pickle, and chutneys!

And here's my Tamarind-Date Chutney...I'm obsessed and I think you will be, too!

Tamarind-Date Chutney (makes 1 qt, feel free to half if desired)
1/2 cup tamarind concentrate
1/2 cup dates, chopped
1/4 cup jaggery or agave nectar
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/2" ginger, minced
1 chile, minced
1/4 tsp cayenne, or to taste
1 Tbs vegetable oil
3 cardamom pods, crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups water

Combine all ingredients in a medium pot. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce to low; simmer 30 minutes until reduced and thickened. Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth, or pour into a blender and puree (being careful as it will be very hot). Serve at room temperature or chilled.


abigail deon said...

yay for moving! jake and i are really excited for this new season of your life laura. we can't wait to visit you there, so close to my hometown! please keep us updated on your life. we're not on facebook, so we don't get your daily online updates. i enjoy reading your blog though and pretending that we're at vegan brunch with you. the LORD is with you laura poe. you're a wonderful sister.

Laura said...

I looooove you guys!! I wish i could cook fornyou everyday....again!! :)

Anonymous said...

Delicious! I'm sure that the perfect add to this recipe will be some nachos with spicy cheese sauce.
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