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.
from Mangoes & Curry Leaves by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid - reprinted with permission
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