Buttermilk Curry

DO try this recipe. It is involved enough that you will feel accomplished, easy enough that it doesn’t infringe upon any inherent laziness, and fancy-looking enough to impress your dinner guests. Although you could make a huge batch of it and serve it as a main course over rice, we think it serves a better purpose as a side dish, either ladled over cooked vegetables or scooped up with fresh soft pita.

We found this recipe on a great website called 101cookbooks, where it was reprinted with permission from the original author’s cookbook Mangoes and Curry LeavesPlease note that if you want to make this in a pinch, plain yogurt can easily replace the buttermilk, although the curry will lose some of it’s signature tanginess. Also- Miss Curry does not have a wok, so we just used a heavy-bottomed sautee pan. It works, so don’t go out and buy a wok for no reason!


Condensed author’s notes: This is one of the family of buttermilk curries found in the northwestern parts of India, places where dairy products such as yogurt and buttermilk play a large role in the kitchen.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil (hs note: I used clarified butter)
1 1/2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 large or 2 medium scallions, trimmed, sliced lengthwise in half and then crosswise into 1-inch lengths
1 green cayenne chile, minced (hs note: the serrano I had on hand was a reasonable substitute)
1/4 water, if using yogurt

1 cup plain (full-or-reduced fat) yogurt OR 1 1/4 cups buttermilk

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2/3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (hs note: also known as cilantro)

Heat oil in a wok (or karhai) or medium heavy pot over medium-high heat. When it is hot, toss in the mustard seeds. When most of them have popped, add the cumin and turmeric and stir. Lower the heat to medium, add the scallions and chile, and stir-fry for about 3 minutes, until softened. If using yogurt, stir in the water. Reduce the heat to low, pour in the yogurt or butter milk, and stir until warmed through; do not allow to boil. Stir in the salt.

Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the coriander. Serve hot.

Serves 2 to 3.

Link to the original recipe here. We hope you enjoy making this unusual and wonderful curry!

This entry was published on November 8, 2012 at 3:09 pm. It’s filed under curry and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Buttermilk Curry

  1. I adore buttermilk and yoghurt curries!

  2. I had never heard of it before, but am looking forward to learning more about them! If you have a recipe you’d like to share, we would love to recreate it!

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