I am forever amazed and astounded at the sheer volume and variety of Indian curries. I tend to love the tomato-based, fiery curry versions and will only occasionally stray to the coconut-based. Tomato curries are generally from Northern India, while their coconut cousins tend to be from the South. One such tomato curry that recently piqued my interest is the Masala curry. I tried to find ‘rules’ as to what makes the Masala curry a ‘Masala’, but could find no general guidelines. Thus, I created two versions of a Masala – one with edamame (to replace the peas) and one with jackfruit (because experimenting with jackfruit is delicious! Cases in point: Thai Jackfruit Curry and Ethiopian Jackfruit W’et).
The recipe formula is below. For the Edamame Masala I used Edamame, and for the Jackfruit Masala I replaced the edamame with one 19oz. can young jackfruit (in brine). I also omitted the mushrooms, because I used the last of them in the Edamame Masala. Being an engineer, I did a side-by-side comparpison to evaluate the results. First, the flavour profile. As the base of the Masala did not change between the two, the final taste didn’t change as well. The spice mix is subtly spicy, but with a tangy kick at the end from the asofetida. The Sucanet takes the edge off the spice, but the curry doesn’t taste sweet at all – a relief to this spice lover! The garam masala adds a savoury element to the curry, and the veggies and greens soak up the flavour wonderfully. The real difference (obviously) is in the edamame/jackfruit. While I prefer the edamame for the protein profile, it’s the jackfruit version that really shines. The jackfruit and the eggplant lend some texture to the dish, and the jackfruit gets saturated with all that lovely spice during the simmer. The results of my taste test? I love them both! I leave it up to you to choose between the two – or even your own version! The curry sauce is worth making regardless of the added veggies, as a different tomato curry offering that is subtly spicy, tangy, and savoury – a delectable curry sure to please!
1 (16oz.) bag frozen edamame, thawed (or 1 (19oz.) can young jackfruit (in brine), drained and cut into bite-sized pieces)
1 (28oz.) can diced tomatoes, or 2 cups diced
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. red chili powder
1 tbsp. ginger, minced
½ tsp. ground coriander
2 green chilis, minced
1 tsp. canola oil
½ tsp. cumin seeds
Pinch of asafetida (hing)
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp. grounder coriander
½ tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. turmeric
½ tsp. Sucanet
1 lb. eggplant, cubed
1 green bell pepper, cubed
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 small zucchini, cut into ½ moons
4 cups greens, chiffonade
2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
¼ tsp. garam masala
1) In food processor, puree tomatoes, salt chili powder, ginger, ½ tsp. ground coriander, and green chilis
2) In large pot, heat oil on medium-high and add cumin seeds. Sauté until seeds begin to crack.
3) Add asafetida and bay leaves. Stir and sauté approx. 30s.
4) Add tomato puree and remaining spiced. Stir and bring to a simmer.
5) Add eggplant, edamame, and water to adjust for thickness. Simmer approx. 5 min.
6) Add bell pepper, mushrooms, and zucchini. Simmer until eggplant is tender, approx. 15min.
7) Add greens, cilantro, and garam masala. Stir and cover. Cook until greens bright green and wilted, approx. 2min.
8) Remove from heat and let sit covered approx. 2 min.
9) Serve with naan, roti, and/or rice.