This rice bowl with potato curry is my daughter’s absolute favorite ‘soul food’. After a hectic day, this is ‘the’ food that she finds relaxing. She was thrilled to discover that her friends at school loved this curry just as much as she did. The traditional recipe for this is a little daunting when one is in a hurry, as it is made with grated fresh coconut, that is ground with the freshly roasted spices……you get the picture…… it is not something one would necessarily look forward to making after a long day;)
So this is a simplified version of the Potato Curry called Ambat Batata in Marathi. Literally translated, it means Sour Potato. Perhaps it gets its name because of the tamarind used in this curry. But with the brown sugar or jaggery and the red chili powder , it is a balance of the sweet, sour and hot flavors. And you know me! I will not compromise on the taste even when in haste:) This delectable curry cooks in 14 minutes, the same time it takes for the rice to cook. And the appetizing, calming rice bowl dinner is ready in under 20 minutes for you to enjoy and relax!
Start by cooking 1 cup of rice. While that is cooking, gather the ingredients you need for the curry-
- 1½ teaspoon cooking oil. I use canola oil
- 5 fenugreek seeds (methi)
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/8 teaspoon asafetida (hing) powder
- 4 small russet potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into 6 wedges each-I cut it in half lengthwise and then cut each half into 3 pieces each
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder. I get the medium hot chili powder from the Indian store
- ½ teaspoon roasted coriander seed powder
- 2 cups water ( We like lots of the curry over the rice. If you don’t, reduce water to 1½ cups)
- sea salt to taste
- 1½ teaspoons brown sugar or jaggery (gul)
- 1 tablespoon dried tamarind pods, soaked in ¼ cup warm water or 1/4 teaspoon of tamarind concentrate
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper -about 5 turns of the pepper grinder
- ¼ cup coconut milk powder combined with 1 teaspoon all purpose flour in 1 cup of water
To make the curry-
- In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, add the fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds and the asafetida. As soon as the mustard seeds start to sputter, add the cut potato wedges, turmeric, chili powder and the coriander powder. Stir well to coat the potato wedges with the spices.
- Add the 2 cups of water, stir and let the potatoes cook on medium heat, partially covered.
- Cook for about 7 minutes, add the sea salt, partially cover the pot and let the curry cook until the potatoes are fully cooked, about another 7 minutes.
- Remove lid, add the brown sugar or jaggery. Squeeze the pulp of the tamarind and the soaking water ( or the tamarind concentrate) into the pot, stir and add the black pepper and coconut milk mixture.
- Stir and let the mixture come to a low boil.Simmer for a minute or so on low heat. Remove from heat.
- By this time, your rice is cooked, warm and ready. In a bowl, place about 3/4 cup of the cooked rice and top with the Aambat Batata or Potato Curry. This recipe will make 4 rice bowls but that does not necessarily mean you have to share:)
Enjoy! Wishing you a relaxing Wednesday evening with your Rice Bowl with Potato Curry!