This dish is based on a recipe e-mailed to me by an Indian reader, Dara. (More of the story in the second paragraph of Menu Plan Monday, 8/4 – 8/10.) I wanted to be respectful of and as true to the original recipe as possible, but at the same time I knew some adaptations were required, both to use up farm share vegetables and to accommodate the difference in ingredients between here and India. I think I succeeded in keeping to the essence of Dara’s original recipe.
While I was cooking and trying to stay somewhat authentic, I wondered, what is a jalfrezi anyway? Jalfrezi is a general term for a dry Indian curry, cooked with chilies and with the main ingredients usually including peppers, onions, and tomatoes. OK, I had all of those elements nailed — I was on the right track.
The green beans, carrots, peppers, and tomatoes are all from my CSA share. As a result, the quantities that I used were based on what I received this week, and might not be what you’d buy in the supermarket. You can mix and match your favorite vegetables — IndiaCurry.com has some suggestions. The Mariachi peppers have a mild heat, while the Red Rocket is hotter. I found the finished dish to be pleasantly spicy, J. didn’t find any heat at all. The original recipe called for chili powder in addition to the fresh chilies, so if you like to sweat consider that addition.
I love the combination of ginger (I might add more next time) and cilantro. I would not have been disappointed if I ordered this meal in a restaurant. The only downside is that there’s a lot of chopping — I did some before a birthday party, and then some after.
Adapted from Dara’s e-mailed recipe
2 large yams, peeled & cut into bite-sized chunks
1 quart green beans, trimmed & cut into inch-long pieces
6 small carrots, peeled & cut into bite-sized chunks
1 medium onion, diced
1 bunch green onions, diced
2 Mariachi peppers, seeded & minced
1 Red Rocket pepper, seeded & minced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
2 tsp. fresh ground ginger (I use bottled)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 c. fresh cilantro, chopped
Add yams, green beans, and carrots to a pot and cover with two inches of water. Cover and bring to a boil; then lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Drain and set aside.
While vegetables are simmering, drizzle olive oil in a large saute pan and cook onions over medium heat until they start to soften. Add peppers and cook an additional few minutes until onions and peppers are caramelized.
Add remaining ingredients plus the drained yam, green beans, and carrot mixture, and stir to combine. Continue cooking over medium heat for 5 minutes (no liquid should remain in the pan).
Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve hot.