01 May 2012

Recipe a Day: Yogurt Curry with Turmeric

I think this one is Bengal and it's by far my favorite thing to put on rice.  Or just eat with a spoon.

My recipes have always been flexible, but I've had to be even more flexible here.  

You'll need

  • Oil (1-4 Tablespoons- it's up to you)
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard seed (yellow or black works fine, and you can use less if you live in a place like Tokmok where mustard seed can be a little harder to find)
  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • A few tablespoons of chopped green onion, shallots, or regular onions
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups yogurt
Put the oil and mustard seed in a small pot with the lid on. I didn't take a picture of this part because it's boring with the lid on. Heat the pot over medium-high heat till the mustard seeds start to pop (that's why the lid is on). Usually I turn off the heat while they pop because burnt mustard seeds are nasty, and there should already be enough heat to make sure all of them pop.
When the seeds are mostly finished popping, turn the heat back on, take off the lid, and add the spices.  Stir them and fry briefly.

Add your chopped onion or whatever and turn the heat to medium and cook for a few minutes.  If you're using green onions, just cook for a little while, and cook longer if you're using onions.  It really just depends on how soft you want your onions.

Add the water and the salt.

Then add the yogurt.  Measuring yogurt is a messy business, so I just eyeball it.  That's works really well because I've made this in this same pot for years.  Then start stirring.  It'll look weird at first.  I think it's best to stir with a whisk for this part.

Keep on stirring.

You can stop stirring when it looks like this.
Heat just until it's warm (so it's best to use potable water for this, since the water won't boil, but you probably don't have to worry about that).  If you let it boil or almost boil, it'll curdle.  It still tastes good, but it's not very pretty.

Now eat it.  It looks prettier with green onions, obviously, so I recommend those.  But I also like the oniony-ier flavor of shallots, or I did when I could get them.  Regular onions are the easy solution.


  1. Sounds yummy! And I love your suggestion to use potable water. It's good to remember the realities of life outside the developed world.

    Also, I loved your blog post at By Common Consent.

  2. Oh, I'm making this. Today if possible.

  3. OK, just had it for lunch. We love it! Thanks for the recipe--my daughter is always hoping that I'll come up with Indian recipes that don't involve foods that will poison her (lentils, chickpeas, sesame...) so she is very happy.

  4. Glad you liked it Jean. I think I have some more Indian/close-to-India recipes that might work for your daughter if the things you list are what she can't have.

  5. That would be super. The poor kid is a naturally adventurous eater, and she is allergic to a zillion things. Mainly legumes and nuts. It makes adventurous eating very difficult!

  6. What would you normally serve this with?

  7. We usually just eat it with rice, but it's good with flatbreads, or over vegetables, or, best of all, with a spoon.