Our food choices are so much about the company we keep. Right now my maternal cousin sister is here with me and we talk mostly about my maternal family, my Mum and her Dad and Mom. Invariably memories of food creep in. Like Ramdas mama getting the oily Sheera from the local hotel in Thal for me when I visited. My Mum would always pass it on to the househelp and never let me eat it. I hated it too. I just cannot eat Sheera made with water! Yes I am a snob when it comes to my favorites. No compromise.
Then another time we were talking about some recipes that are so Mum like. When she knew that this was a dependable bhaaji and will be lapped up with rice and bread without a complaint by the entire household and especially me.
Its such a simple recipe if you ignore the coconut milk extraction part or if you are using canned coconut milk then this ras bhaaji is ready in a jiffy.
I know you can't wait to have your hands on the recipe. So lets jump right to it.
1/2 kg small tomatoes
1/2 kg boiled potatoes
2 green chillies
2-3 cups medium thick coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
few curry leaves
2 teaspoons ghee
salt to taste
Portions : 4 - 5
Boil and peel potatoes. Cut potatoes into large pieces and mash 1 potato and keep aside.
Cut the tomatoes into halves and save.
Extract and Keep coconut milk ready. I made it myself.
Heat a kadhai and add 2 teaspoons ghee to it. There is no substitute for ghee in this curry. Its a must. Once hot and molten add cumin and mustard seeds to it. When the cumin is fragrant and mustard seeds pop add the curry leaves. Follow in with the slit green chillies. Then add the tomatoes and potatoes to it. Give it a stir and increase heat to soften the tomatoes and while that's happening the flavors will intensify.
Add the Kashmiri red chilli powder to it and the mashed potato. Mix. Then add the coconut milk. Salt the curry to your taste. Boil the curry on medium heat for 10 mins. Till you get a smooth curry.
Plating and Serving :
Fill a bowl with rice and turn it onto the plate. Ladle out little liquid curry on the rice. Spoon out the tomatoes and potatoes on the sides. Ladle out more curry to form a pool around the rice. Pick a curry leaf and top it on the rice. Sprinkle some cilantro.
To finish off plant a roasted rice crisp and your fancy plating is done!
Does it look like a turtle?
The curry is creamy with coconut milk and tangy due to the tomato. The starchy potato is as comforting as it can get. Use your fingers to mash up the curry with rice and lick your fingers.
My cousin Harshada enjoyed it and smiled as she ate feeling happy and remembering her Vitha attya. That's my Mum, Lata!