Sunday, July 17, 2005


"My Sister's Favorite Corn Curry" - from Indian Home Cooking

I love Indian food and have managed to accumulate several cookbooks on the subject over the last couple of years. I've poured through them many times and imagined what all those great looking dishes might taste like. But for some reason, I've always been a little overwhelmed by the lists of ingredients and what appeared to be fairly complicated recipes. I kept putting off actually trying one.

I got a little nudge a couple weeks ago when I saw Suvir Saran, author of Indian Home Cooking, at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. I came home inspired and pulled out his cookbook to peruse yet again. Then last weekend, as I have before, I selected a recipe (this time a corn curry), purchased the necessary ingredients, and even made a trip to an Indian grocery to get a few things. But I didn't make it.

Tonight, with corn, curry leaves and a chile pepper growing old in my refrigerator, I knew it was now or never. I figured I had nothing to lose (except possibly an hour or so), but I wasn't even sure the corn would be any good.

In spite of everything - my week-old grocery store corn, not enough corn (once I had cut the corn from the cobs I had only 3 of the 4 cups needed for the recipe), and a whole wheat tortilla instead of a chapati on the side - the curry was wonderful. It had a rich creamy base and layers and layers of flavor.

I've picked out another recipe... maybe next weekend?


Nupur said...

Welcome to the spicy world of Indian cooking Cathy! I am so glad your first attempt worked so looks delicious :)

Cathy said...

Thanks Nupur! I really am very excited about how well this turned out and looking forward to trying something else. I've seen recipes on your site as well as Mika's and others that I've been wanting to try too, and can't wait to dig in!

One of my issues with Indian cooking is that I'm not sure what goes with what or even how many dishes normally make up a meal (I'm talking an everyday meal, not a special occasion). What would you eat with something like this?

Cerebrum said...

Wow, that sure looks good Cathy! I think I have the same issues as you regarding Indian cooking - plus I don't know what it's supposed to taste like, and there are so many new ingredients and methods. Luckily, new and improved Indian restaurants are popping up here and there in the Copenhagen area, so I might try it there to start and then grow to make things myself...

Anonymous said...

Cathy, It looks awesome! I also made an Indian recipe for the first time this weekend! It was kind of an off the wall type of deal...we decided we wanted to make some Naan, so we did...then I just picked a recipe at random from one of my cookbooks to make with turned out really well and I, too, will be trying more Indian dishes in the near future. I'll be looking forward to reading about anything you happen to try as well! :)

Cathy said...

Hi Zarah - thanks! I love going to Indian restaurants, but I never know what to order - thank goodness for the buffets! I have one near me - Madras Palace - that serves vegetarian cuisine from south India. For a while I was going about once a week and I would try to remember the name of one dish each time, which I would look up in my cookbooks when I got home. That way I got an idea of what was in the dish and it helped me to remember the name.

Hi Alice! Thanks! Oooh, I'd love to make some of the Indian breads. Was it difficult?

Nupur said...

Hi Cathy,
I would eat plain boiled rice and a salad (raita) with this. OR toasted pitas and salad.
Don't worry so much about getting authentic combinations right in the beginning. But a general rule could be that curries (anything liquidy) goes well with steamed white or brown rice and most dry preparations go well with flatbreads. Salad and yogurt can accompany all foods.
If you make a flavoured rice dish like a pilaf, you only need yogurt to make a complete meal.

Cathy said...

Thanks so much for the tips Nupur! Maybe a raita should be one of the next recipes I try!!