This recipe, from Madhur Jaffrey’s A Taste of India, is part of SAVEUR’s November 2017 cookbook club. Though we’ve tested this recipe in the SAVEUR test kitchen, we present it in its original, unedited form from the book. Says Jaffrey:
Throughout India, yogurt is eaten in many forms, including those that require that it be heated. As yogurt curdles when boiled, it is first stabilized with chickpea flour. The pulse flour adds extra nutrition to the dish — a very important consideration for India’s numerous vegetarians. This recipe comes from one such Benares family of Banias or businessmen. Karhis, eaten all over India, have endless regional variations and may be served with Plain Rise or with Indian breads. Other meats and vegetables can also be served at the same meal.
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled
- 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1⁄2 tsp. whole black mustard seeds
- 1⁄2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
- 1-2 fresh, hot, green chillies very finely chopped
- 3 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 in dice
- 1⁄8 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1 1⁄4 cups plain yogurt
- 2 tbsp. plus 1 teaspoon chickpea flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1⁄4 tsp. sugar
- 1 cup fresh or frozen, shelled peas
- Cut the ginger, crosswise, into very thin slices. Stacking a few of the slices on top of each other at a time, cut them first into very thin strips and then cut the strips crosswise into minute dice.
- Heat the oil in a wide, heavy-based pan over a medium-high flame. When hot, put in the mustard seeds. As soon as the seeds begin to pop, put in the cumin seeds. A few seconds later, put in the ginger and the green chillies. Stir for 1⁄2 minute and put in the potatoes and the turmeric. Stir the potatoes once or twice to mix, and then put in 2⁄3 cup of water. Cover, turn the heat to low and simmer gently for 6-8 minutes or until the potatoes are just tender.
- While the potatoes are cooking, put the yogurt in a bowl. Beat lightly with a fork or whisk until smooth and creamy. Add 1 1⁄4 cups of water and mix again. Put the chickpea flour in another bowl. Slowly add the yogurt mixture, mixing all the time to avoid lumps. Add just 1⁄2 tsp of the salt and all the sugar to the yogurt-chickpea flour mixture and stir.
- When the potatoes are just tender, add the peas and the remaining 1⁄2 tsp of salt. Mix. Cover and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes or until the peas are tender. Now pour in the yogurt-chickpea flour mixture. Stir as you bring it to a simmer over a medium flame. Lower the flame again and simmer gently for 2 minutes.