Monday, April 18, 2016

Sweet, Spicy and Fragrant, Corn and Tamarind Curry.

   Today we started this year's planting for our garden. Actually lats week we put in the Yukon gold potatoes but this week we got down to the serious stuff, chilies of several varieties, 4 different types of eggplant, tomatoes, butternut squash, and beets. I'm still waiting on the radishes, spinach, purslane, and heirloom carrots. Hopefully we'll have as abundant a crop this year as we did last year when a simple investment in seeds and starters kept us well fed veggie-wise into the late Fall.  Right now, nothing is available in our garden except the nettles I recently harvested which will probably become some sort of pasta, so I'm always on the prowl for fresh produce. I lucked out the other day with some corn and decided that a simple corn and tamarind curry would make a great quick and easy lunch dish accompanied by a player yet to be named.
   As it turned out, I'd used my Ninja blender to grind rice and urad dal for dosa batter and I figured this might be the perfect opportunity to break in my newly seasoned cast iron tava. One thing led to another (mainly Alan wanted dosas) and before I knew it I was behind the kitchen island dishing out dosas stuffed with corn curry like some kind of indoor food truck. We didn't even bother with dishes... I served it all on paper plates and we ate standing up. It was that kind of day. So I thought that simple corn curry with tamarind was a real keeper. Dosas or not it's guaranteed to be a great  easy to make in a pinch dish and it's perfectly delicious even if not wrapped up in a dosa.

Corn and Tamarind Curry

Here's What You Need:
2 ears of  fresh corn
2 Tbs of tamarind paste (jars of this now seem to be found at most large supermarkets)
1 small onion finely chopped
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes ( I use Aleppo pepper)
2 Tbs vegetable oil. I use coconut oil
3/4 tsp salt or to taste
3 Tbs freshly chopped cilantro
A couple of grinds of black pepper

Here's What To Do:
Mix together the cumin seeds  and fenugreek seeds. Set them aside.
Finely chop  the onion

Remove the corn kernels from the cob and set them aside.

Dry roast the fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds in a pan until they start to release their aromas, and then grind them together with the red pepper flakes in spice or coffee grinder.

Grind everything to a coarse powder and set it aside.
In a skillet or kadhai, heat the vegetable oil.

When the oil is hot, add in the finely chopped onion.

Stir it around until it turns translucent and golden, then add in the corn.

Stir it around a bit and toss in the roast ground spices and salt.

Cook all of these together until the corn is cooked through. This takes about 5 minutes or so.
Add in the tamarind paste.

Stir it around until it's mixed in well and then keep stirring until it starts to cook down and glaze the corn and spices.
Add in the chopped fresh cilantro.

Cook for another couple of minutes.
Place it all in a serving dish, hit it with a few grinds of black pepper, and serve it up.

   Warm sweet, spicy and fragrant with simple spices, this is a great vegetable dish all on it's own with rice or another veg, served alongside meat or fish, or even wrapped up in a dosa or two... or three which is what we did.

Coming up next,  more spring vegetables take advantage of Indian flavors, and rose petal jam right out of the garden. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori

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