Masaura and Potato Tarkari – Peter Kuruvita

Enjoyed throughout Nepal, masaura are sun-dried vegetable nuggets made from black lentil paste and minced vegetables, often used in soupy curries. If you can’t find masaura, you can use your favourite dried soy protein in this curry.

REGION  Nepal   |   SERVES  2   |   PREPARATION  25 minutes  |  COOKING  30 minutes  |   DIFFICULTY  Easy

  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 1½ cups masaura, or diced tempeh or plain soy protein
  • 2½ tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • a pinch of cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 5 cm (2 inch) cubes
  • 1–2 Indian green chillies, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • a generous pinch of salt
  • 3 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ tablespoon chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon Garam masala (page 24)
  • ½ tablespoon Ginger garlic paste (page 241)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ground sichuan pepper, to garnish (optional)

Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy-based saucepan over
high heat. Add your chosen vegetable protein and fry for 3–5 minutes, or until crispy, stirring frequently, as it tends to burn pretty quickly. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towel and set aside.

In a separate heavy-based saucepan, heat the coconut oil over medium heat, then gently fry the cumin and fenugreek seeds for about 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the diced potato and green chilli and fry for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the potato is golden brown.

Stir in the fried vegetable protein, ground turmeric and a good pinch of salt until well combined. Cover and cook over medium–low heat for 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, remaining ground spices and the ginger garlic paste, stirring well. Cover and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Stir in 750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) water until well combined. Bring back to the boil and cook, uncovered, over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the potato is tender and the sauce has reduced to a lovely gravy consistency.

Serve garnished with the chopped coriander, and sprinkled with the sichuan pepper if desired.

Lands of the Curry Leaf – Peter Kuruvita

Peter Kuruvita takes us on a vegetarian food journey through the lands of the curry leaf. We travel vicariously through countries including Nepal, Sri Lanka, India, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

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