Recipes | Yogurt and Two Indian Curries – Opposites Attract, I Know For Sure They Do
“Hey, turn back and see who is sitting right behind you” hubby spoke to me in hushed tone during a special cocktail dinner party organized for the senior officials of his company in Leela palace last night.
I gently turned around to see a dashing young man in body-hugging white shirt and tight fit blue jeans behind me.
Awee…hmm…gulp…I must know him…
I tried my best to place him, but couldn’t and was completely baffled to see the excitement written all over my hubby’s face.
“He is Murali Vijay – one of the wonderful opening batsmen in Indian cricket team. There are many other cricketers sitting beside him, glad that we all are colleagues.” whispered my hubby, who was holding back his excitement to meet them after the formal meet was over.
“Oh..ok” I replied in a ‘couldn’t care less’ accent.
I am to blame, the scores never interested me and all that I know about the game is Kapil Dev, a world cup in 1983 and Sachin tendulkar.
But for my hubby, Cricket is more than play and he absolutely loves the sport.
We have different taste in almost all the aspects of life. The things I like are pretty simple, watching raindrops, baking cookies or listening to soft melodies while he loves politics and action movies.
I used to wonder whether opposites really attract and do they make a perfect couple? But after being together for the last 20 plus years with him, I know for sure they do
1. Potatoes in Yogurt Gravy of Dahi Wale Aloo
This quick yogurt potato curry is my savior when I don’t have ample time to cook something special or am short on vegetables. I change the recipe according to the accompaniments I am making alongside. I like to make creamy and thicker version of the recipe with Naan or Kulcha and with Thepla or plain wholewheat flat breads I like it thin and more watery.
A warm and comfort food of Cornmeal flat bread or Makki Ki Roti with fresh butter and soupy Dahi Wale Aloo during winter nights in Udaipur before marriage was bliss.
- 4 medium sized potatoes
- 1 cup yogurt or curd
- 1 tbsp. oil
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp. red chilly powder
- 1 tsp. coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
- A pinch of Ajwain
- A pinch of Kasuri Methi (optional)
- A pinch of asafoetida powder
Method; Wash and boil potatoes till they are soft to touch.
Cook for 2 whistles if you are using pressure cooker to boil the potatoes.
Let the potatoes cool, peel and dice them into small cube. I normally crumble the potatoes into small uneven chunks using my hands.
Take a tablespoon of curd and add all the dry spices (turmeric, red chilly, cumin, coriander powder) in it.
Heat oil, add asafetida powder and the curd mixed with spice power in it. Saute for a minute and take the pan off heat. Add rest of the curd in it, mix well and put the pan back on the flame, keep the flame at low. This step ensures that the curd does not split.
Add diced potatoes, mix well and cover the pan. Let it cook for 5 minutes on low flame and turn off the heat.
The gravy in this recipe is quite thick and creamy in consistency. Add desired amount of water to make it thin.
This curry has many versions, some add tomatoes and ginger to the recipe, while many make it with onion and garlic. In some recipes chickpea flour powder or besan is added to make it thick and also to avoid the curd split when added to hot ingredients.ersion
This is a creamy version of Dahi wale Aloo wherein the yogurt or curd used is thicker. You can use buttermilk instead of thick curd and make it watery version of the recipe.
Garnish with dry Kasuri Methi (fenugreek leaves) or fresh coriander leaves. Serve hot with plain Indian flat bread or Naan.
2. Achari Paneer in Green Gravy or Spicy Cottage Cheese Curry
I used to make this recipe using Cottage cheese or Paneer cubes initially but gradually shifted to much healthier option –Tofu, and to my surprise my children could not make out the difference. A happy mom I am.
Achari or pickle spice mix used in the recipe gives a wonderful flavor and strong taste of Indian aromatic dry spices to the almost bland tasting greens in it.
- 1 cup of cubed Cottage Cheese
- 3/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
- 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
- 3 tbsp. yogurt
- 1 onion
- 2 tbsp. of corn kernel
- 1 red Casicum
- 1 inch ginger piece
- 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. oil
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp. each of cumin, fennel, coriander and mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp. of fenugreek seeds
- 1/4 tsp. of Nigella seeds (kalonji)
- 3-4 dry red chillies
Method; Dry roast all the ingredients listed under ‘spices’ on medium heat in a sauce pan for about 2-3 minutes. Remove from flame and let it cool.
Grind the spices into fine powder to get a Achari spice mix.
Pluck coriander and mint leaves and wash it with water.
Peel and dice onion and ginger. Dice red capsicum into fine cubes.
Grind coriander leaves, mint leaves, ginger and onion into a bright colored green paste.
Take a large bowl and pour yogurt in it. Add Achari spice mix, salt and mix well.
Heat oil in a wok and pour the yogurt and Achari mix in it. Saute for a few minutes. Add green paste in the wok and sauté for another 3-4 minutes on low flame.
Add cubes of Cottage cheese, capsicum cubes, fresh corn kernel, lemon juice and take off the flame. Cover the wok tightly with a lid and let the dish sit for some time before serving. Add a cup of warm water if you want more gravy in the recipe.
Serve it with rice or any Indian flat bread.
- I use mustard oil for making Aachari Paneer recipe.
- Replace Tofu with cottage cheese for healthier variation of the recipe.
- You can skip adding capsicum and corn kernel to paneer recipe if you wish. Red capsicum adds that extra contrast to the green gravy.
- Garnish the Achari Paneer with fresh cream and make it an exotic party dish.