This recipe is from a book by Madhur Jaffrey. It's nothing fancy, it isn't full of glossy pages or professional food photography.
It's one fat, simple book in black text, but it is absolutely loaded with recipes spanning an unbelievable knowledge of cuisines and food.
On the cover, you see Madhur Jaffrey: she looks like a mother, very traditional, very simple, maybe even conservative.
That's what my first impression was of her.
In reality, she's anything but plain and simple.
She was not brought up in the conservative, traditional woman's role. The first time she cooked was when she moved to London to study drama at the age of 19.
Madhur Jaffrey was in fact a famous actress who won awards and acclaim for her work. She's married to a violinist in the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and she's well known on the New York theater scene.
Now she has written dozens of books, lectured and even had a few TV shows. She became known as 'The Actress Who Could Cook".
My first impression of this dish was that it, too was plain and simple. It had a short list of ingredients and a quick recipe.
Again, I was wrong. Yes, this dish is simple. But it has so much freshness, so much versatility.
It's different from any Indian dish I've tasted in that it doesn't taste Indian.
While it works in complete harmony with any Indian accompaniment, it at the same time merges flawlessly into all other cuisines, from Western to Japanese.
It looks dull. It looks like one colour. It looks like it lacks flavour.
But what one actually eats is a dish much like Madhur Jaffrey herself. It is able to branch out in multiple directions, try new things and surprise skeptics. Yet it can still come home to its roots and feel comfortable among its origins.
Don't judge a book by its cover. No matter what cuisine you're making, give this dish a try... you'll be surprised.
Yes, it seems I have made a curry 2 days in a row. But oh, well-- they're both different and both yum.
I have to admit, this is a non-curry curry. Why?
Well, because I didn't put any curry paste in it. We didn't have any, so I just omitted it. The 'curry' therefore is essentially spiced and reduced coconut milk. That's not to say that it didn't turn out well-- in fact it wasn't bad at all. But even if you want to avoid making your curry spicy, I would recommend you add at least a smidge of some sort of curry paste to give it a little more flavour.