Spicy keralan mash

Posted on June 29, 2009. Filed under: Subzi | Tags: , |

Cassava (or tapioca) is a Keralan staple. Use it in this dish, or, if none is available, potato is a useful substitute. This recipe serves four.If you cannot find cassava (also known as tapioca), use potato instead. Cassava is protected with a wax coating, so it can last for months in your larder.

Timings :

Preparation time: less than 30 mins

Cooking time: 10 to 30 mins

Ingredients :

  • 450g/1lb potatoes or cassava, peeled and cut into large cubes
  • 1½ tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¾ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 whole green chillies, pricked with a sharp knife
  • 15 curry leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 3 tbsp double cream
  • 3 tbsp freshly grated coconut
  • 180-280ml/6-10fl oz milk (use less milk if using potatoes and more if using cassava)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice

Method :

1. Boil the cassava or potatoes in a pan of salted water for 10-15 minutes, or until tender. Drain well, then mash with a potato masher or ricer until smooth and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small pan over a medium heat. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and fry for 20-30 seconds, or until the mustard seeds start to pop. (CAUTION: keep the pan well away from your eyes and face.)

3. Add the fennel seeds, onion and green chillies. Fry for 4-5 minutes, or until the onion has softened and is golden-brown.

4. Add the curry leaves and the garlic and simmer for 45-60 seconds, or until just golden-brown.

5. Add the garam masala, milk, cream and grated coconut and stir until well combined. Add the milk gradually as necessary until the mashed potato or cassava is smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

6. Bring the mixture to the boil, then stir it into the mash and add the lemon juice, to taste. Serve immediately.

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