This Potato & Spinach Curry uses yogurt in a classic Indian way. Instead of adding it at the end of cooking, it is sauteed with the spices and vegetables until all the water... has gone and only deliciously spicy curds are left. Liquid is then added back — in this recipe from tomatoes and stock — to give you a light, creamy sauce that won’t separate if it boils again.
Heat the ghee or oil in a wok or saute pan over medium high heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds. When the seeds start to darken, add the garlic and chilis.
When the garlic starts to color, add the lemon zest and the shallots. Sprinkle with a little salt then cook, stirring until the shallots have softened and have started to caramelize. Stir in the turmeric and cook 1 minute.
Add the yogurt and mix well. Cook over a high heat until it has thickened and any water in it has evaporated — with Greek yogurt this takes about 2 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and mix well. Cook until the tomatoes have given off their juices. Add ¼ cup of water to make a thick sauce. Add the potatoes and stir to mix well. Drape the cilantro stem over the whole thing, lower the heat to medium and cover. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes to heat the potatoes through.
Uncover, remove the cilantro and pile the spinach on top of the potatoes, cover again. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, enough to just wilt the spinach.
Remove the lid and mix the spinach into the potatoes. Add a tablespoon more of water if needed. Stir in the chopped cilantro if using. Serve with Basic Brown Rice.
If you’re feeling tired, use a small pack of frozen spinach instead of fresh.
Buy 2% or full fat yogurt to make this. Fat free doesn’t work as well. It has too much water and not enough milk solids.
Using whole dried chili peppers may seem like a lot, but whole peppers are not as hot as the flakes. It’s the pith and the seeds that give the heat.