When I came home last night, I never would have imagined what Kramer had in store for me. We happened to be on the same train on our way home, so we walked the 50 feet from the station to our apartment together, and I went to change out of my work clothes while Kramer emptied the dishwasher. I came out of our room and there was a brand new MacBook Pro sitting on our counter! I thought it was a joke, to be honest. I thought that there had to be something else inside of it, that he had found the box and decided to pull a practical joke on me. I asked, “What is this?” and Kramer replied, “It’s yours.” My reaction was, of course, “How? Where? When?” but it was true – Kramer got me a new Mac! I know that I should probably be using a more powerful computer, with all of the work I do for the site, but MacBooks are just. so. pretty. My old Mac is about 4 years old and barely holds a charge anymore, but this new one is sleek and beautiful. I absolutely love it and I can’t believe Kramer went out to the Apple store the day that the new laptops got released to get me one. I think he may have just won the award for Best Husband Ever. I’m certainly going to have to cook some extra special dishes this weekend to thank him!
Speaking of husband-pleasing dishes, yes. That’s right. I put bacon in my curry. What of it? I know, I know – it’s blasphemy! How can I add bacon to a traditionally vegetarian dish? I’ll tell you how: with a little help from my neighborhood grocery and a stroke of genius. Let’s just consider this a very Americanized curry and move on, shall we? I promise that it’s delicious! The bacon just adds a little extra something, and makes the shallot and garlic even tastier, due to being cooked in the same pan as the bacon. Do you blame me? I knew you wouldn’t. Besides, you can easily make this vegetarian or vegan all over again by simply replacing the bacon with olive oil. Who said that I couldn’t compromise? This curry, or aloo matar as it is more commonly known, is a great after-work dish to whip up in about 30 minutes. I came home from work around 6 and had this on the table by the time Kramer got home shortly afterward. The green peas and red tomatoes really make this dish look appealing, and the wonderful aromas from the curry powder, turmeric, and coriander will really get your stomach growling. You can add any vegetables that you have laying around to this; I think that zucchini or squash would work just as well as the mushrooms that I used, for example. You can even make this as spicy or as mild as you like, but I prefer my curries spicy, so I added almost a full teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the dish, along with the other Indian spices and curry paste. This is great with a side of freshly steamed vegetables or, for the more daring lot of you, some nicely toasted naan.
What you’ll need.
First, you’ll want to get your potatoes going. Peel them and chop them into 1-inch pieces.
Cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil for 8-10 minutes, until tender. When ready, drain the water from them, run them under cold water to keep them from cooking too much, and set aside.
Now, dice your bacon and add it to your pan along with 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Cook until crispy over medium-high heat, about 5-8 minutes. When crispy, remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set on a plate lined with a paper towel to strain. Remove all but about a tablespoon of bacon fat from your pan.
Add in your shallots and bell peppers and cook over medium heat until softened and beginning to caramelize, about 8-10 minutes.
Thinly slice your mushrooms.
And add them to the pan, cooking for another 5 minutes, until browned.
Get your garlic and tomatoes ready.
Add them to the pan after the mushrooms, and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant and the tomatoes are softened.
Now add in your spices and give everything a good stir.
Finally, add in the potatoes and curry paste. Stir everything together, then add in the cooked peas. Add a splash or two of vegetable stock if needed, taste and season more as necessary, and serve.
- 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 6 slices bacon, finely chopped (optional - use just olive oil instead if you are omitting the bacon)
- 1 shallot, finely sliced
- 2 small sweet bell peppers (or 1 regular bell pepper), thinly sliced
- ½ cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 15 grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1½ teaspoons curry powder
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes (add more if you like after you've tasted it)
- ¾ cup of frozen peas, cooked according to package directions
- 1 tablespoon red or green curry paste
- ¼ cup vegetable stock
- First, get your potatoes ready. Peel and cube them into 1-inch pieces, then place in a pot and cover with water. Bring it to a boil, then boil for 8-10 minutes, until tender. When ready, drain the water from the potatoes and run them under cold water so that they stop cooking. Set them aside until you're ready to use them.
- Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in your pot over medium-high heat. Cook the bacon until crispy, about 5-8 minutes, then remove from the pan and set aside to drain on paper towels. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pot.
- Add the shallot and bell pepper and saute until they are softened and beginning to caramelize over medium heat, about 8-10 minutes. Add in the mushrooms and cook until browned and softened, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and tomatoes, stir, and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant and the tomatoes have begun to soften. Add in the combined curry powder, turmeric, ginger, coriander, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and stir. Add the cooked potatoes, the cooked peas, and the crispy bacon, if you're using it. Stir everything together and add in the curry paste and ¼ cup of vegetable stock. When most of the vegetable stock has simmered away, taste, adjust seasonings as necessary, and serve.