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11 October 2015 @ 08:32 pm
Fifty Weeks, Fifty Curries: Week Forty-Eight: Malaidhar Aloo  
I don't like mashed potatoes. I don't like scalloped potatoes, or potato salad, or potatoes au gratin, or really any other kind of potatoes other than roasted, hashed, or baked. So hearing that this week was going to be "creamy potato curry" filled me with a bit of trepidation. I mean, it's curry, but would that be enough to counteract the creaminess? It was a mystery!

Also note that I've been generically annoyed all day--possibly because I'm getting sick; softlykarou already is--and my stomach is still bothering me, so I went into this curry with a pretty bad attitude. I was told that it was yogurt-based rather than cream- or milk- based, which gave me some hope, but I was still expecting to dislike it and have to scrounge for some alternate dinner source right up until I took the first bite.

Yogurt front and center, where it belongs.

Well, the first thing I have to say is that our malaidhar aloo wasn't creamy at all. There's a part of the recipe where you're supposed to add a cup and a half of water, and so that's what softlykarou did. And the result was that it was a bit more like a curry soup than a creamy anything. But hey, I'm not going to complain. I was expecting an awful mush with curry flavor on top of it to taunt me with what could have been, and I actually got some nicely firm sliced potatoes in a curry-based soup. It was basically spicy potato soup and was pretty good!

It didn't look anything like the picture, but that's good because I'm pretty sure I would have hated that version. It looks a lot like potatoes au gratin, and while the recipe here does actually include cheese, it's more of a garnish on top than an actual main part of the recipe. I didn't even taste it, actually, and while i know that softlykarou mentioned it I didn't remember it until I was paging back through 50 Great Curries of India and saw it on the list. It's three tablespoons of cheese vs. two cups of yogurt, so it's obvious which is the more important.

[Insert offensive joke about Ireland here]

Words from the Chef
"Please let dorchadas like this curry" I hoped to myself as I made it. Given that the photo looked a lot like potato salad, which dorchadas despises, I did not hold out hope. However, as it came together I thought this was something he could actually enjoy. Cooking it was easy, I didn't include black cumin seeds since I didn't have them, I used the regular ones instead. I originally thought I added too much water but then I turned up the heat and let it burn off and it cooked the potatoes perfectly. I occasionally get potato soup cravings but can't eat tons of it, this curry had a lot of those flavors but in a way that both dorchadas and I could enjoy. Also, cardamom in potatoes, it just took this dish to a whole new level, the tartness of the spice cutting nicely through the creamy, but in a way that blended rather than fighting it. It was a great dish and I'd make it again as a side!

Looking at this picture makes me stomach turn, but that might be because I'm ill.

50 Great Curries of India has a little blurb about the White Revolution, a.k.a. Operation Flood, the effort to increase India's dairy production. Apparently it was so successful that India is currently the largest producer of milk in the world and a lot of modern Indian cooking includes cheese. I would not have expected that, and not just because of stereotypes about Indian food, but also because this recipe is the first one in the book that has cheese in it. And it's not like they're all passed down in village lore of old--there are a couple that are from restaurants somewhere, but no cheese there either. Maybe this one was supposed to be representative.

It makes me wonder about some of the other curries. Like, would omelette curry be worth making if there had been cheese in it? Would aab gosht have been even better? I have...questions about some of the other recipes due to this knowledge. photo emot-iiam.gif

We had it with short rib, because what are potatoes without meat?

Another surprise hit. I think this would go pretty well as a side dish with a more meaty curry like Goa lamb vindaloo, or--as we found out today--even with a non-curry main dish (non-curry? Perish the thought!). And it got potatoes and creaminess at least in the same room without me hating them, which is quite the feat. Would potato again.  photo emot-parrot.gif

Would I Eat It Again?: Yes
Do I Prefer It to the Usual Thai Curry?: No, but it's lovely side dish material.
What Would I Change?: Nothing! It was great as is.
Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: VGMPire podcast
Bendrydem on October 14th, 2015 07:38 pm (UTC)
I can't remember, did we bring along our garlic mint roasted potatoes at one point? I think they would be up your alley in terms of potato tastes.
dorchadasdorchadas on October 14th, 2015 07:43 pm (UTC)
I believe you did bring them along at least once, but I think I didn't eat them.