Indian Spiced Potatoes and Kale

This variation of the classic Indian dish, Aloo Gobi uses kale instead of cauliflower. Some versions add stewed tomatoes, cilantro leaves or peas. Whichever version you prefer, the fragrant spices which can be adjusted to suit your taste are the hallmark of this vegetarian main dish. Serve it over rice with your favorite Indian flatbread.Serves 4.

Ingredients

generous splash of vegetable oil or ghee
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 small onion, diced
1 sweet red pepper, seeded, stemmed and diced
1/2 teaspoon hot chili pepper, finely chopped, or to taste
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
3 teaspoons garam masala (recipe follows)
1 pound potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups kale leaves, ribs removed and cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
1 cup vegetable stock or water
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  2. Add the onion and peppers and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, garam masala and potatoes.  Stir to combine, cover and cook until the potatoes begin to soften, about 7 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes.
  4. Add the kale, stir, cover and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the stock or water, cover and continue cooking for 5 to 10 minutes, until the potatoes and kale are tender.  Add the lemon juice, stir to combine and remove from heat.

Classic North Indian Warm Spice Blend (Garam Masala)

Makes about 3/4 cup

1/4 cup coriander seeds
1/4 cup cumin seeds
2 (2-inch) cinnamon sticks
1 rounded tablespoon whole green cardamom pods (or 1 tablespoon cardamom seeds)
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, or less if desired
1 1/2 teaspoons whole cloves

  1. Warm a heavy skillet (cast iron is best) over medium-low heat. Add all of the spices and slowly toast, stirring often, until the spices release a warm toasty aroma and darken several shades. About 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the spices to a plate and cool completely.
  2. In a clean coffee or spice grinder, grind the mixture to a fine powder. Store in an airtight container and use within 3 months.

Other variations: To the above mixture you might add 1 or 2 bay leaves while roasting and/or 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg after roasting. The proportions maybe changed to suit your taste.

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