Curry Butter

1/4 pound (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice

Melt the 1 tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When it bubbles and froths, add the shallot and cook for 2 minutes. Add the ginger and curry powder and cook for 1 minute more. Then add the lime juice, stir to combine, and remove from the heat. Set the mixture aside to cool to room temperature.

In a small bowl, mix the remaining stick of butter with the sautéed shallot, ginger, and curry. Mix well, then place the mixture in a jar and refrigerate

Quick Cilantro Chutney

1 bunch fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon peeled, grated ginger
2 pieces Thai chile peppers, destemmed
3 teaspoons lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

Untie the bunch of cilantro. Wash thoroughly. Pick the leaves and the top, delicate part of the stem. (Save the lower stems to use for soups and broths later.)

Combine the cilantro leaves and top stems, peppers, salt, lime juice, and ginger and blend until fine. Feel free to add a teaspoon or two of water to facilitate blending.

Store in a clean glass bottle in the refrigerator. This will last for 2 to 3 weeks.

Quick Tamarind Chutney

1/4 cup tamarind paste
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon corn starch

Mix all the ingredients except the cornstarch in a thick-bottomed pan. Turn the heat on to medium.

Meanwhile, in a separate small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 1 teaspoon water. Add this mixture to the chutney.

Once the chutney starts boiling, turn the heat off. Turning the heat off after the first boil will ensure that the cornstarch imparts a slight thickness to the chutney. (We do not want the chutney turning into a paste.)

Once the chutney cools down, store in the refrigerator in a clean glass bottle.

Serving Suggestion: Add 2 teaspoons chutney to a cup of crispy rice cereal. Mix a pinch of salt and red chile powder, a spoonful of diced red onions, and chopped cilantro for a quick snack. Or enjoy with aloo chaat.

Aloo Chaat

4 medium-sized Yukon Gold or russet potatoes
3 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chaat masala
1/2 teaspoon red chile powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 teaspoons cilantro chutney, for serving
3 teaspoons sweet tamarind chutney, for serving
1/2 cup plain yogurt, mixed well with a spoon
1/2 cup sev
3 teaspoons chopped cilantro, for garnish

Peel potatoes and cut them into pieces about 1/2″ wide and 1/2″ long. Place them in a microwaveable bowl and fill with water in such a way that all the potatoes are submerged in water. Microwave for 3 minutes.

Pour the potatoes carefully in a sieve and drain the water. After the potatoes have cooled down, wipe them dry on a kitchen towel or paper napkin.

Heat a cast-iron or any thick-bottomed skillet. Pour half the vegetable oil. Divide the potatoes into two batches to ensure that the pieces get heated in a single layer without crowding each other. Insert the potatoes in the cast-iron pan.

Sauté the potatoes and stir every 2 to 3 minutes to prevent them from sticking to the pan. The goal is for the potatoes to acquire a taut, golden-brown skin on all the surfaces. This takes about 15 to 18 minutes. Repeat the process with the next batch.

Put the roasted potatoes in a mixing bowl. Add salt, red chile powder, cumin powder, and chaat masala. Mix well. Add cilantro chutney and sweet tamarind chutney. Mix well.

Divide potatoes between two serving plates. Pour the yogurt on the potatoes. Layer sev on top and garnish with cilantro. Serve right away.

Note: Potatoes can also be oven roasted.

English Roasties

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 to 10 red potatoes (2 to 3 pounds total), preferably similar in size, peeled and cut into 2- to 3-inch chunks
2 tablespoons flour
2 to 3 fresh rosemary sprigs (optional; okay to substitute dried rosemary)
3 to 4 chopped cloves garlic (optional)
Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees with the rack in the middle. Add the oil to a rimmed sheet pan (13-by-18-inches) and place it in the oven.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes in a colander and sprinkle with the flour. Shake the colander to distribute the flour evenly.

Carefully remove the pan with the hot oil from the oven. Spread the potatoes out in a single layer in the hot pan. The potatoes should sizzle upon making contact with the hot oil. Return the baking sheet to the oven and roast the potatoes for about 1 hour, until golden brown. Every 15 to 20 minutes, flip the potato pieces, ensuring that all sides brown evenly. About 45 minutes into cooking, sprinkle the potatoes with the rosemary and/or the garlic, if using. Transfer to a cooling rack and generously season with the salt and serve.

Vegetable and Cashew Curry

6 medium shallots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-inch piece ginger root, peeled and grated (about 1 tablespoon)
1 small red bell pepper, stemmed and thinly sliced
2 medium tomatoes, quartered
8 fingerling potatoes (may substitute very small new potatoes)
4 spicy dried red chile peppers
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup large whole cashews, roasted and unsalted
1 teaspoon black mustard seed (see headnote)
6 to 8 fresh curry leaves (optional; see headnote)
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon light or dark brown sugar
14 ounces (1 can) reduced-fat coconut milk
1 lime (optional)

Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cashews and shallots; cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the nuts just start to brown.

Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves to taste, if using; cook for a few minutes, until the seeds start to pop and crackle. Add the garlic, ginger, dried chile peppers, red bell pepper and turmeric. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring, until aromatic, then stir in the brown sugar.

Add the tomatoes, potatoes and coconut milk. Once the milk is heated through and is bubbling at the edges, partially cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and reducing the heat as needed if the curry bubbles too vigorously or appears to be burning on the bottom. The shallots and potatoes should be tender. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed. Remove the chile peppers.

Divide among individual bowls; if you haven’t used curry leaves, cut the lime into quarters and sprinkle each portion with lime juice.

Serve hot, with basmati rice.