Whether from India, (with its virtual kaleidoscope of flavors from each region), Thailand, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Pakistan, or Maylasia, curries do make the culinary world go round. No other dish can entice the nose or tantalize the tongue quite so much as curry. For this reason, I am always seeking out new curries to taste and share.
It's almost impossible to find delicious curry recipes that are made without oil or ghee, but you can leave out the extra fat and still end up with a dish that cooks up aromatically and tastes fantastic. A perfect example is this dish from A Life(Time) of Cooking, which I tweaked by replacing the oil with water, and adding tomatoes.
1/2 cup water, divided
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 heaping tablespoon cumin seeds
1 large sweet potato or yam, peeled and cut into small cubes (I also used some pumpkin I had on hand)
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
1 large eggplant, cut into small cubes
1 bunch of spinach, blanched, dried, and chopped
1 Tablespoon Madras Sambar Powder or a good Masala mix / curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
Heat 1/4 cup water in a heavy-based saucepan on low heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds and allow to pop. Add the garlic and cumin seeds, and stir fry until garlic turns a golden brown color.
Add the sweet potato and tomatoes, and cook for about 8-10 minutes, until the sweet potato is half cooked. Stir occasionally. Mix in the eggplant cubes, spinach, salt, sambar powder, and turmeric. Cook on medium heat until the sweet potato and eggplant are tender. Serve with rice or naan. Makes 4 servings.