On the topic of food pairings that scream "Woohoo! Winter is over," let's talk new potatoes and asparagus. They're a common couple (usually on that wedding-reception plate with the salmon option and some lemon wedges), but this time we've spiced them up with an aromatic coconut-tomato sauce, because we're breakaway cooks like that.
You might wonder whether it's worth it to roast potatoes before adding them to a curry. A friend suggested it when she tasted another of our potato curries and we were very pleased with the results. The potatoes get a chance to concentrate their sugars and caramelize a little, and the texture is awesome.
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
12-15 small waxy potatoes (we used red creamers), diced
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 inch chunk of ginger, finely minced
1 small bunch (about 15-20 spears) asparagus, chopped into 1-inch segments
1 cup pureed tomatoes (we used canned, but if you want to make this later in the summer, fresh could work too)
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon tumeric
salt to taste
plain yogurt for topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 400. Combine 3 tablespoons oil, spices and salt in a small bowl. In a baking pan, toss potatoes with the oil mixture and bake for 40-45 minutes, until tender and browned.
When potatoes are almost done, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large stockpot on medium-high. Add cumin and mustard seeds and cook until they begin to pop. Next, throw in the shallots and ginger and stir for a minute or two. Add the asparagus and saute until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, coconut milk, cayenne and turmeric. Stir well, then transfer the roasted potatoes to the stock pot. Turn heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, until liquid has reduced a bit, to let the flavors steep. Adjust salt and serve over rice, with a dollop of plain yogurt if desired.