When I was growing up, my father would cook a Madhur Jaffrey potato curry that I still make a version of to this day. Over the years, mine has evolved quite a bit – it’s saucier than Madhur’s and I love to add chickpeas or fresh peas. There is something pleasing about the way tooth meets the tender-firm cubes of potato, not to mention the spicy sauce that envelops them, flooding the mouth with flavour and heat. It always hits the spot. There is time to make flatbread while the curry cooks (to mop up that sauce), but otherwise sit back, crack open a beer and think about how much you didn’t spend on a takeaway.
Potato curry with chickpeas and turmeric
In summer, I often swap the chickpeas for peas.
Prep 10 min
Cook 45 min
6 large potatoes
5 tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
1 large knob ginger, peeled and minced
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp garam masala
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained
1 x 400g tin tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
Salt and black pepper
Yoghurt (I like to add crushed garlic and sea salt to mine)
Chopped fresh coriander
Peel and cut the potatoes into bite-sized chunks, then steam for eight to 10 minutes – you want them to soften a little, but not cook completely.
Meanwhile, put half the oil into a large casserole (with a lid) and set over a high heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and, when they start to crackle, turn down the heat to medium and add the rest of the oil, the onion, ginger and chilli. Stir-fry for about five minutes, then add the rest of the spices and the chickpeas. Stir to coat the chickpeas, season generously and cook until the onion is soft – about 10 minutes.
Next, add the tomatoes and sugar. Bring to simmering point, taste and season – the sauce will need to season the potatoes, which will be added soon, so you can afford to salt fairly generously. Simmer briskly for 10 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon, then stir in the potatoes and half a tin’s worth of water. Cook until the potatoes are tender and coated in the sauce – about 10 minutes.
Serve with warm flatbreads, a dollop of yoghurt, a handful of fresh coriander and a great movie. Mango chutney is also a must.
And for the rest of the week …
Coriander turns very quickly, so blitz any excess with garlic and oil to make a vivid green herb oil for dressing grilled vegetables and meat – I like to round off the taste with some mint or parsley, too.