There's a fat new cookbook in my kitchen, and it's not even vegetarian. But Raghavan Iyer's new 660 Curries has such an astonishing number of authentic and incredible Indian meatless recipes for bean and vegetable curries that many a vegetarian cookbook would be put to shame.
One of the most appealing features of Iyer's recipes is his assembly-line fashion of preparation and cooking using modern appliances, a restaurant-like approach that makes each of his dishes as easy to scale down for two people as it would be to scale up for a hundred. And if the picture of an assembly line seems aesthetically unappealing to the gourmand, try to picture instead the convenience for a parent who hasn't much time or who faces a lot of interruptions in the kitchen. Either way, there's no sacrifice of flavor or goodness in this book. There are more than a few interesting tips as well, such as whisking yogurt together with a little heavier cream before adding to heat to prevent curdling.
"Rajma" is a generic word meaning literally "red kidney bean," but which is applied more loosely as a name for the tomato-based red kidney bean curries found throughout northern India. In this version, adapted from one found in 660 Curries, fresh mint does not alter the spice of the curry but provides a pleasing added tone at the end of the palette after the tongue has savored the spices. Potatoes are used here to provide a contrast in color, taste and texture, but fried paneer cheese cubes could be substituted as easily and with as nice an effect — just add them during the simmer rather than before the boil.
|Mint and Potato Rajma|
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
Adapted from 660 Curries
Published on October 2, 2008
Rich, earthy, hearty and zesty red kidney bean and tomato curry with potatoes cooked with spices and fresh mint