It’s probably wrong for a curry blogger to have a favorite curry — that’s sort of like a parent having a favorite child — but if I had to choose, I’d say Thakkali Payaru Curry from South India.
Of course, I’ve come to love my coconut Thai curries…but this Indian dish has such an elegant simplicity that I’d made it countless times (and, in fact, once won my family’s Iron Chef competition for my efforts). It’s also vegetarian, which should please my numerous readers who have asked for veggie recipes.
So this isn’t my original recipe (is there such a thing?) but my own version of a recipe listed on page 110 of Curry Cuisine, which I’ve mentioned numerous times is the Best. Cookbook. Ever.
Please note, if you’re a vegan, you could omit the yogurt.
Try this dish — it’s an easy one. You’ll be hooked, like me, on curry cuisine.
Thakkali Payaru Curry
3 tbsp oil (I use sunflower)
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
4 cloves garlic, diced
10 curry leaves (I use dried ones purchased at Kalustyan’s)
one yellow onion, diced
2 green chiles, sliced lengthwise
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
3 ripe tomatoes, diced
5 oz spinach (about half of bag)
1 can black-eyed peas
2-3 tsbp yogurt
Heat oil in skillet. Add mustard seeds; when they pop, add onions and stir for a few minutes. Add garlic and curry leaves. When onions are soft, add all the spices and chili peppers; stir well. Add the tomato. Let cook for a few minutes. Stir in spinach, and cook over low heat for several minutes until spinach starts to wilt. (You could briefly cover the pan for a while, if desired.) Stir in the black-eyed peas. When warmed through, take off heat. Add the yogurt. Stir, serve….and fall in love. Yum!
*Please note the above photo. Anyone from upstate may recognize the Syracuse China pattern…Strawberry Hill.