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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Aloo Matar Rasedaa - Curried Potatoes and Elephant Safari

Aloo Mater Rasedaa - Curried Potatoes.

They don't get much cuter, but she was a surprise. Her Daddy was a rogue.

This is her teen-age mother.

At home in the jungle.

Conference room.


Termite Colony.




From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...The Silver Fox loves nature. I love the Silver Fox. The bit about jungles and safari was buried in the fine print of our marriage contract. I missed it. He didn't. That's how I ended up in the middle of a jungle on the back of an elephant who cared a good deal more about her offspring than me or my welfare. We had signed on for a four day stay at a Nepali eco-lodge, hoping that would be enough time to see at least some on the wildlife the camp was famous for. As luck would have it, we got to see everything our first morning on safari. That was wonderful. Folks can spend years trying to catch glimpses of the tigers or white rhinos in the reserve. We hit a homer our first time at bat. Our good luck, however, meant we had to come up with other plans to fill the time we had left in camp. Four days can be an eternity in a place that has only intermittent electricity and hot water. It does not encourage the reading or writing of the great American novel and bubble baths are not de rigueur. I spent my time in the primitive kitchen and at the elephant camp watching the antics of a two year old who was such a minx you couldn't help but love her. She's now old enough to walk behind her mother on expedition. If she's hungry she nurses and everyone waits till she's had her fill. If she finds a pile of dirt or an especially lush leaf, she'll stop and play. Everybody waits. If they're lucky they'll escape the dirt she blows their way as an invitation to play. It's also interesting to watch the behavior of the other elephants when she is around. If they scent boar or other animals that might be dangerous, they close ranks and form a protective circle around her. When I tire of the elephants, I wander down to the primitive kitchen and watch them prepare meals for 40 or so guests. There are no appliances to speak of. There are 5 cooks who report to head chef who barks orders but also cooks. The six of then produce breakfast and two large buffets every day. The food they cook must be walked uphill to the dining room. When the meals are over, dishes are walked to another facility to be washed and stored away. The arrangement is uniquely inefficient but the job gets done, even in rainy season. Eco-tours are not for everyone, but if you love nature and being outdoors you'd love to spend some time on jungle safari. I glad I did it. Once!

The food prepared in the kitchen at Temple Tiger was, of necessity, easy to make. It lacked refinement, but it was delicious and there was always plenty of it. I especially like their recipe for curried potatoes and peas. It can be served with any meal, but it is a wonderful addition to the Nepali set I've been talking about building. It perfectly fits the curry component of the dish. Here is the recipe.

Aloo Matar Rasedaa - Curried Potatoes and Peas...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite


2 pounds baby Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled and quartered
2 tablespoon ghee or olive oil
1 medium onion, finely minced
1 teaspoon finely minced ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1-1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne or ground red pepper
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 can (15-oz.) chopped tomatoes, undrained
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 teaspoon garam masala

1) Boil potatoes in lightly salted water until barely tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2) Heat oil in a large pot. Add onions and ginger and cook until softened. Stir in turmeric, cayenne, cumin powder, coriander and cumin seed and cook until fragrant.
3) Add potatoes to skillet and stir to coat with spices. Add tomatoes and sugar and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in peas and garam masala. Cook 5 minutes longer. Add additional water if sauce becomes too thick. Season with salt to taste. Serve hot. Yield: 4 servings.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Curried Vegetables With Whole Wheat and Couscous - Simply Recipes
Indian Style Curried Vegetables - What's Cookin, Chicago?
Curried Potato and Vegetable Soup - Simply Recipes
Aloo Gobi - No Recipes
Fresh Vegetable Curry - The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen
Mixed Vegetable Curry - What's Cooking Today


EliFla said...

I love this recipe because I love potatoes....but tha animals' picture...make me dream.....!!!HAve a nice day.... hugs , Flavia

carascravings said...

Your pictures are fantastic. What a blessing to see all that amazing wildlife.
The curry dish looks great. It reminds me of Aloo gobi, which I love.

Alessandra said...

Perfect dish for me, and the eco resort just my kind of place! And the baby elephant is too cute!

Thanks for sharing!


Priya said...

Thats a droolworthy aloo matar rasedaa, soo cute baby elephant..

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Great photos, I love that young elephant, it is cute.

Those potatoes look sooooo yummy will give this a try. Diane

Dr.Sameena Prathap

Hi Mary,

The aloo mattar rasedaa looks yummy...beautiful clicks...:)


Big Dude said...

What a great experience you had. Were you with a tour group the whole time or did you arrange the various mini adventures yourself?

From the Kitchen said...

Although the San Diego Wild Animal Park is the closest I have (or will) come to being on safari, I am thoroughly enjoying my travels with you! I will be putting more Indian food on our table--that is an adventure we enjoy taking.


kitchen flavours said...

What a great experience. And the baby elephant is so cute. Seeing the tiger, white rhinos and the other wildlife is really a chance in a lifetime! The potatoes looks really delicious. I love potatoes in curry and I'm bookmarking this! Thanks for the recipe.

Kim said...

Wow! Mary, ou're still pleasing us with your marvelous pictures! The little elephant is soooo cute! Plus, I love your curry!

Lisa said...

I love hearing and seeing your great adventures from the trip. Wow, what work to feed all those people.

Jenn said...

I love curried potatoes...well I like almost anything with curry!! Thanks for the jungle tour, I love the outdoors, but the wildlife that can maul you keeps me from wanting to do things like that. Now I can do it from the safety of my own home thanks to you!

Jeannie said...

Wow! those photos of the animals are awesome! You managed to photo them so clearly!Love that simple dish of Aloo Matar Rasedaa:) Have a great day!

Claudia said...

Watching a young elephant play... what a lovely appreciation of the world. The potatoes re so spiced with flavor - one has to love them.

Mapi said...

Eco safaris are not for me, but I enjoyed reading your account, it had me mildly wishing I was your outdoor type. Alas! I like my comforts, my hot shower at the end of the day and so on.
But I also love simple food and am madly fond of virtually anything containing curry.

I imagine those curried potatoes had a unique taste, such as only made-on-the-spot curry can give...

Katerina said...

Beautiful ispired dish by your trip to India!

Lyndsey said...

What a great experience you had at the elephant camp. Mary, I am thilled you are sharing all these recipes with us. I love curried potatoes and usually eat them in some dosa. My daughter even loves it. I'll try this one next time!

nesrin said...

Tolle Fotos!

Ushnish Ghosh said...

Dear Mary
Thank you so much for visiting my Blog. I feel good.
I like this writing and your detailing on Elephant and the kitchen and cooking activity. This dish is very nice, will try soon.
Is this on Royal Chitwan National Park of Nepal? Haven't gone there so far.
Best regards

Rita said...

I do enjoy reading abaout your excursion;you are a brave lady, I must say. I find the curried potato dish really intersting. My sister always added potatoes to her curried dishes and was so tasty. Have nice weekend.

♥ Kathy said...

That baby elephant is precious & I love the tiger & rhino pics too! How cool that you got to capture those images!! The food looks yummy too :)

StephenC said...

I am thrilled for you that you are having such a great adventure. The curry with potatoes is right up my alley.

PeggyR said...

Another yummy dish and I love hearing about your trip and seeing your pictures.

Pam said...

What an amazing adventure that I would love to experience, although I would miss hot water! The curried potatoes look tasty.

Tasha said...

This recipe sounds wonderful. I have to tell you I absolutely loved the line in your post about the fine print in your marriage contract! It does sound like an amazing experience, though.

aipi said...

This is my all time fav made it beautifully Mary..
All the pics are lovely..the baby elephant is adorable!

US Masala

bellini valli said...

Thanks for continuing to share your culinary and extraordinary journey woth us Mary.

The Blonde Duck said...

LOVE the baby elephant!

Faith said...

Oh wow, what an adventure! My hubby loves nature and especially tigers, so I'm sharing this post with him. That baby elephant is really so adorable! The curried potatoes look wonderful!

Dan said...

The potato looks excellent and so do the wildlife photos!

Ginny said...

What a story! I couldn't believe, looking at these pictures, that you were so close to these animals, especially the tiger. But I guess you were on an elephant, and they all leave the elephants alone. This potato dish does look good, and the baby elephant is just so cute!!

Emily Z said...

Hi Mary, it has been a while since I have come by! I hope you are well! This recipe looks wonderful, I love curry! Fun pictures from the safari! I would LOVE to do something like this - the closest I have some to a safari was on our honeymoon... we went on a "safari" in the Busch Gardens in Tampa, and we got to feed and pet giraffes, but I can't say it compares to your experience. The baby elephant is just precious. Thank you for sharing!

Erin said...

Wow! your photos are amazing! I was in India this summer on a veterinary student exchange externship, and the closest we got to non-captive animals was in Mudumali. We got up close and personal with a bunch of elephants but we barely saw a leopard - up in a tree, far in the distance.
Do you just a a giant telephoto lense or were you really that close to a tiger?

Biren @ Roti n Rice said...

That dish sounds delicious! I love potatoes with curry. They just go so well together.

Sounds like you had quite a trip. This eco trip sounds interesting, especially for the animal lover. Thanks for sharing all those amazing pictures :)

Mary said...

Erin, I don't know which of your blogs is current, so I thought I'd answer you here. Bob used a telephoto lens to capture the tiger. We were close to him but never in any danger. They are people shy. We always kept our cameras ready to go when tracking. If you have to fumble with the camera you miss the opportunity to get a shot. The elephants had picked up the tigers scent so we knew something was around and we were ready for him when he appeared. The rhino was taken with my point and shoot camera, so special equipment is not always necessary. I hope you're having a great day. Blessings...Mary.

Indie.Tea said...

The curried potatoes and peas are a classic dish at temples and prayers...yours looks and sounds just perfect.
And the safari looks pretty magical.

RamblingTart said...

You brave, wonderful lady. :-) You're such a trooper to accompany your man on these adventures. :-) I love your photos!!! The animals are just stunning. Wow. How fun to get to putter in that oh so rustic kitchen. :-)

Joe Ambrosino said...

So that's how you make it!

Kim said...

Mary - It looks and sounds like you and your husband had the trip of a lifetime. Awesome - in every sense of the word. I can't imagine seeing those animals up close and personal in their natural environment. Wow! Great job braving your way through the safari :)

The curried potatoes look wonderful. I had a similar dish earlier in the year and found it to be especially satisfying and comforting.

scrambledhenfruit said...

That little elephant is adorable! What an amazing experience. That curry dish looks delicious. :)

Krista said...

What a wonderful trip! Loved seeing all of the pictures of the animals. Amazing! The potatoes look delicious...but I can understand how the accomodations left something to be desired. Glad you had such an adventure!

Shivani said...

Seems you have enjoyed the safari a lot, liked all your snaps and the recipe is perfect.

Monet said...

I so enjoyed seeing all of these pictures. Your trip reminds me of my time in Africa. I was able to see so many beautiful animals. It sounds like you were able to experience so many different foods, places, and people. Just wonderful! Thank you for sharing this lovely curry dish, dear. I hope you have a wonderful Friday!

Coleen's Recipes said...

I assume we are not in Kansas anymore Toto? Beautiful photos.

Lucie said...

I love reading the tale of your adventure, Mary. Such a cute baby elephant! Your recipes seem to capture the spirit of the meals you describe so well.

CailinMarie said...

wow. this is simply fascinating and I think you are so lucky to have seen a tiger! I've been fascinated with tigers since childhood - well animals really. I tried to teach myself chinese from a book when I was 12 so I could go study panda bears :-) Hmmm... maybe when our kids are bigger Tim and I can try out an eco tour. Although I'll admit I do like a hot shower...

My Little Space said...

Lucky you, Mary! It's not easy to see all those animals in one day! And the cub sounded so much fun too. This is such an interesting & adventurous trip. All worth it! The kitchen and the suroundings look really tidy and clean too. I think the workers there did such a facinating job. Thanks so much for taking us along the trip. Have a great weekend.

Foodycat said...

I am so envious that you saw a tiger!

Lori said...

Wow! Where do I begin. What an amazing journey. You crack me up about the jungle safaris being in fineprint. So many things are in fine print arent they? Or maybe not. But I digress.

I would love and hate the safari all at the same time. But that elephant might just make it so much better. And of course this curry.

Katie said...

wow this looks so real, authentic and fabulous.
it looks like you had a fantastic journey.
thank you for this recipe, I am not a fan of spices but I can cut some of those out.


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