Above: The ingredients of a great curry even look beautiful.
Indian curries are a favorite of mine. While the Indians eat them to keep cool in their hot climate, I eat them to keep warm in ours—especially with this winter’s record-breaking low temperatures. This particular curry was the brainchild of one of my favorite Indian cooks, Vij Vikram whose recipe for Short Ribs in Red wine and Cinnamon has already appeared here. This time, Vij turns up the heat quite a bit but you can control it easily by reducing the cayenne pepper count if you must. I find that Basmati rice goes a long way to putting out any fires.
I paired this with a recipe for Asparagus that was invented by an Indian vegetarian cook named Manjula Jain. Manjula came to this country in the late 60s. And like Vij, she has adapted a North American ingredient to an Indian palate. Asparagus is not unknown in India but it is rare and usually confined to the south of India. Manjula is from the north. I admire both of these cooks so much for taking something locally grown and making it taste so exotic. You can visit www.manjulaskitchen.com and see the extent of her vegetarian recipes. I can’t vouch for them all, but the one for asparagus is a definite keeper.