The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including gluten-free and vegan dishes.


July 11, 2019

Throwback Thursday: Creamy Kantola Curry

I started this blog with my mom because I wanted to learn about Indian cooking and all the dishes she made for our family.  When I was away at college, I used to call my mom and she would recite the recipe to me over the phone for the dish I was preparing at the time. Over the years, I learned a lot about spices, how to pick vegetables, and of course how to cook them. 

When I got married and moved away, I felt like I was in college again. Not only was I cooking for myself now but also for my husband...who, by the way, loves Indian food. He's my guinea pig now, I mean my loving partner! 😍

Even my mom says I've come a long way and that she's proud of me. It's all thanks to this blog. Even though I'm far away from home, whenever I'm cooking a dish from the blog, I feel like my mom is right there with me. Sometimes, it really does feel like she's here with me because I call her to ask questions about ingredient substitutions. 

I made two curries tonight, Paneer Bhurji and Creamy Kantola curry. 

The recipe below is for Creamy Kantola Curry - a dish I really like and am so happy I got to cook it tonight for dinner. I haven't eaten this vegetable curry in a long time and I enjoyed making it.

- 1 packet (12oz/340g) of frozen chopped Kantola*
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/8 cup fresh coriander, finely chopped

Ingredients for the gravy
- 1.5 Tbsp peanut butter (alternately you can use Tahini as well)
- 1/4 cup grated coconut*
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1/2 tsp Tamarind pulp

Ingredients for seasoning
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp whole cumin
- 1 tsp urad dal (black gram lentil) optional
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1) Heat oil in a medium saucepan on medium flame and season with urad dal, mustard, and cumin. When the mustard splutters, and dal is fried, add onions and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Now add turmeric and chili powder and mix well.

Add frozen Kantola, brown sugar, salt and 50 ml of water. Mix well. Cook under tightly closed lid until Kantola is cooked and soft (about 10-15 minutes). You should be able to split the pieces easily with a spatula.

2) Remove the lid and add the ingredients for the gravy (peanut butter, grated coconut, plain yogurt, and tamarind). Mix well and add more water to loosen up and cook on low heat for 5 to 6 minutes until the mixture thickens. Taste and adjust salt and brown sugar per your taste.

3) Remove from stove, transfer into a serving bowl and garnish the curry with fresh coriander. Serve hot with rice or rotis.

***Quick Tips

- On the left is the frozen Kantola packet I bought at my local Indian grocer.
- If Kantola isn't readily available, you can also use Chinese bitter melon or Karela (bitter gourd). If using Karela, you may have to add more brown sugar to tone down the bitter taste as needed. 

- I didn't have plain yogurt to use for the gravy, so I used coconut milk instead and it still came out well.
- I used dry coconut powder instead of freshly grated coconut. You can also buy grated coconut at your local Indian grocer (in the frozen section). 

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