Oh man, the quiet of vacation fades really fast into the clamor of New York City. Last week, we were floating down Belize’s Rio Grande to the Caribbean, climbing the pyramids at Tikal, and reading books in hammocks, internet in the lobby so intermittent it took a day to download a draft of the eCookbook when I needed to proof it. And then you know what it’s like this week, to come back to a city with the snow still unmelted, and work, and life, and everything. So while I catch up, I wanted to share with you an old favorite recipe–a vegetarian superstar that resembles nothing so much as mashed potatoes but delivers a lot more protein and flavor than that.
The saucer of spices above reminded me to tell you that we stayed in Belize on a working farm, and I saw turmeric–that yellow powder in the upper left–growing fresh as we walked through the garden one afternoon. Down there, they call turmeric yellow ginger. I’m holding a little slice on the left below, which is vividly orange compared to the knob of ginger Alex has. My piece stained my thumb gold for the afternoon.
This is the rest of the garden where those two roots grew, beside squash and cilantro, culantro and massive leaves of tropical thyme.
And then, to give you one more, this is the river in the jungle we glided down by boat:
The potato pea masala is a recipe from BGSK’s first-ever post, like my peanut sauce. In addition to potatoes, there are raisins, chickpeas, and coconut, plus a cilantro chutney that makes a bowl of potatoes seem more rarified.
The masala could be served as part of a bigger indian buffet, beside korma, chicken tikka masala, or paneer bhurji, or as its own vegetarian main dish. If you’ve got leftovers, smash up the potatoes, form little cakes, and fry them in a little oil.
Potato-Pea Masala with Cilantro-Mint Chutney
Makes about 5 main course servings, or more if served as a side
1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 jalapeños, seeded, coarsely chopped
1 2-inch knob peeled ginger, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves
¾ teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons curry powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons vegetable or safflower oil
1 large onion, diced
One 15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen peas
½ cup golden raisins
1/3 cup dried grated unsweetened coconut, toasted
1/2 lemon, juiced
½ cup chopped cilantro
In a large bowl, cover both potatoes with cold water.
In a small food processor, purée jalapeños, ginger, garlic, curry powder, cinnamon, turmeric, honey, oil, 2 tablespoons water, honey, and 1/2 teaspoon salt until smooth. Transfer the purée to a Dutch oven or skillet with high edges and cook over medium-high heat until fragrant, about a minute. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, about 8 minutes.
Drain the potatoes, then add them to the onion mixture and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are barely tender, about 10 minutes.
Add the chickpeas and 1 1/2 cups water. Stir to combine, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom. Raise the heat to high so it comes to a boil, then reduce so that the dish simmers and cook, covered, until the potatoes are completely tender and the water is absorbed, about 15 more minutes. Add the peas and the raisins, and cook until heated through. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, toasted coconut, and cilantro, saving some for garnish.
Serve in a large bowl, beside some cilantro-mint chutney.
Makes about 2 cups
2 cloves garlics
2 inch knob of ginger, peeled
1/3 cup cashews
2 jalapenos, seeded and roughly chopped
1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
1 bunch mint, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon honey
Juice from 1 lemon
1/2 cup golden raisins
In a food processor, pulse the garlic, shallot, ginger, cashews, and jalapenos until minced. Add the herbs, honey, lemon juice and ¼ cup of warm water and puree until smooth. Add the golden raisins and puree again, adding any additional water to thin the mixture to your desired consistency. It should be slightly thinner than a pesto.
Photos by Carly Diaz
This post is part of Food Network’s Comfort Food Feast. See what other bloggers made with potatoes below:
The Heritage Cook: Potato, Bacon, Green Chiles and Cheese Casserole
Dishin & Dishes: Sweet and Savory Potato Stacks
Weelicious: Potato Fans
Haute Apple Pie: Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
Taste With The Eyes: Truffled Poached Egg, Asparagus and Truffle Vinaigrette, Black Truffle and Potato Stack
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Warm Pan Fried Potatoes and Greens Salad
Red or Green: Smashed Sweet Potatoes with Chipotle
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Crispy Oven Fries
The Sensitive Epicure: Healthier Twice Baked Potato Skins
Elephants and the Coconut Tress: Indian Spiced Potatoes
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Healthy Bacon Egg Potato Breakfast Casserole
Virtually Homemade: Bacon Parmesan Hasselback Potatoes
Devour: Mashed Potatoes, Reinvented
FN Dish: 10 Potato Picks (Recipes)