Thursday, August 11, 2011

Rasa Kayi

Besides the eggplant-based Rasa Vangi, the other amazing dish I had at Rasa last month in London was Rasa Kayi, which apparently comes from Karnataka, to the north of Kerala (I think most of the dishes at the restaurant were from Kerala).  I looked around online for a recipe that included cinnamon and cardamom, because they were what really gave the dish its particular flavor, especially paired with the coconut milk.  Yum--I love the possibility of using coconut milk rather than yogurt in a curry.

Unlike the eggplant recipe, this recipe was very specific about amounts and cooking times, and it worked out great: the veggies were all cooked to perfection, tender but not mushy.  And the flavors are an extravaganza: the warmth of coconut milk, cinnamon, cardamom, and fennel are balanced out by the brighter flavors of tomato and ginger.  Definitely a keeper.

Rasa Kayi (Karnataka Curry)
(from chef2chef)

3 tomatoes
1 whole green chile, seeded and finely chopped
1 piece fresh ginger (1-inch), chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds, toasted
3 TB vegetable oil
2 whole green chiles; trimmed, halved lengthwise
1 cinnamon stick
contents of 2 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
pinch salt
3 medium onions; finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chile powder (I omitted this because I was worried about it being too spicy for my guest; you can always add it to taste later)
2 tsp ground coriander
1 lg carrot; cut into 2in batons
1 sm potato; cut into 2in batons
2 oz cauliflower florets; small
2 oz fine green beans; trimmed
1/3 c  coconut milk; more or less
salt and pepper

1. Put the tomatoes, chopped chile, ginger and fennel seeds into a food processor or blender and process until smooth.
2. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the halved chiles, cinnamon, cardamom and bay leaves for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onions and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and caramelized. Stir in the turmeric, chile powder and coriander and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the carrot, potato and 5 tablespoons water, cover and cook over a low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the cauliflower florets, green beans and tomato mixture. Cover and cook over a low heat for a further 10 minutes until all the vegetables are tender and the sauce has thickened.
4. Stir in the coconut milk and cook over a low heat for 1-2 minutes to heat through. Serve immediately.  Serves 4.

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