Today is Pongal (the Tamil harvest festival), and it is customary to celebrate with several rich vegetarian dishes. I made this Urulaikizhangu Paal Curry. I came across this recipe in my mother’s recipe collection. She never made this, but I was intrigued by the combination of potatoes and coconut milk with very few spices. It has an enchantingly mild flavour, and the fried cashew nuts added to the curry make it very festive and unique.
In my mother’s recipe the potatoes were boiled in their skins and the skin removed later. I have pared the potatoes and chopped them before boiling, which avoids dirt in the cooking water and allows me to use the cooking water for the gravy, which thickens the curry to just the right consistency.
The potatoes give 99 Calories per 100g. The coconut milk gives 860 Calories per cup, and the cashew nuts added also contribute a small amount of calories. Though it is a rich tasting dish, the energy value is not alarmingly high per serving.
- 500g Potatoes
- 1 large Onion, diced
- ½ tsp Lime Juice
- 2 sprigs Curry Leaves
- 1 C thick Coconut Milk
- ¼ C Cashew Nuts
- 2 pieces Cinnamon
- 4 Cloves
- 2 T Ghee (Clarified Butter)
- 2 tsp Salt (or to taste)
- 3 Green Chillies, deseeded
- 3 cm piece Ginger
- 2 tsp Coriander Powder
- Pare the potatoes. Cut into 1 inch cubes.
- Boil the potatoes in one and a half cups water.
- Remove with slotted spoon. Reserve the cooking water.
- Mix the ground ingredients in the water used for cooking the potatoes.
- Heat the ghee in a saucepan or dekshi.
- Fry the cashew nuts till golden brown. Remove and set aside.
- To the same ghee, add the cinnamon and cloves. When the cloves swell, add the onion and fry till translucent.
- Add the ground ingredients mixed in water to the onion. Bring to boil.
- Add the potatoes and salt to taste. Simmer for a couple of minutes.
- Add the coconut milk. Bring to boil.
- Remove from heat immediately. Add the lime juice and curry leaves, and stir.
- Add the cashew nuts just before serving.
- Serve hot with Poori, chappati, plain rice, Kola Urundai Brinji Rice, Peas Pulav, and Tomato Biriyani.
- If you boil the potatoes with the skin, the pieces will disintegrate during further cooking.
- The water in which potatoes have been cooked is rich in starch and will help thicken the curry. If you boil the potatoes with skin, you will not have a thick curry.
- Add the fried cashew nuts just before serving to retain their crisp texture.
- I use reconstituted coconut milk. You can use either fresh coconut milk or coconut milk available in tetra packs.