Of Butter Masalas!

Weekends are topsy-turvy time in our kitchen. The daily cook steps back and the corporate manager takes over! Each meal over the weekend is a mystery to me till it arrives on the table. And that is as I like it!

A few weekends ago, Sunday dinner was a real challenge to the chef because I completely vetoed potatoes, cauliflower and peas as possible ingredients. I am in the process of ensuring an early retirement – this means that all manner of food needs to be cooked – by the other half of mine. I cannot live on these three vegetables alone – no matter how delicious they may be. 

I watched the googling for recipes. The mini grinder whirred and I heard the sizzle and crackle in a pan. In a few minutes I sniffed this amazing aroma – it was truly hard not to wander into the kitchen. But it was absolutely worth the wait!

A plate laden with Malabar Parotta – the nearest equivalent in North Indian cusisne is the Lachha Partha (a sinfully rich, layered with fat, Roti), daal (lentils) tadka and …

“What is this?”

“Paneer butter masala” 

“Paneer? Where did you find it? Hidden in the freezer? I don’t remember getting any. It must be really old! Was it okay?” (Momentary panic! Paneer is the Indian version of cottage cheese and subject to a very short shelf life!)

“Yes.” Pause. After his first mouthful (and before my first!), “This is not paneer. It is Suran!”

Oops! But then MY first mouthful and I was hooked! It was delicious!

The Nigerian yam (which was cubed and ready in the freezer) is almost white as compared to the Indian suran or Shenai kizhangu which is pale orange. This, of course, explains the mix up!

I could write plenty about this vegetable but all the information is available with a simple google search! So, without further ado, here is the recipe. I recommend you make a leap of faith and cook yourself this completely unusual curry! Its slurrpilicious!

Yam Butter Masala

Par-boil yam – 1/4 kg (this can be done in the microwave. Add just a little water and cook covered for 7-10 minutes.)

Fry yam in butter (we used salted butter) – 2 tbs for about 5 mins – till golden brown. Drain and keep aside.

In the same butter fry the following …

       Bay leaf – 1

       Cardamom – 3

       Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tbs 

After the spices turn a rich golden brown, add 

       Onion – 2 medium chopped

       Tomato – 4 chopped

       Green Chilly – 2 sliced 

       Cashew Nuts – 10-12 halved

Let the onion turn translucent.

Take off the fire and let cool.

Remove bay leaf and grind the remaining to a creamy paste

Place bay leaf and ground paste back in the same pan. Add 

       Dhania / Coriander powder – 1 tsp 

       Garam masala – 1 1/2 tsp

       Turmeric – 1/2 tsp

       Curd/ Dahi / Yoghurt – 1 cup

Simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. Add yam, salt to taste and water 1/2 cup

Simmer on low heat for a few more minutes, stirring continuously.

Serve hot!

Bon Apetit!