Last week I was in Minneapolis for a concert, and I ate some Indian food at Malabari Kitchen near the university. It was all good, but by far my favorite item was a yogurt curry, which was really just a runny, spiced yogurt sauce which was meant to be eaten as a digestive with rice at the end of the meal. It was bright, tangy, and delicious, and as I was cooking up some brown rice and mung beans for lunch after I got back, I thought it would be the perfect compliment.
This recipe at least gave me some clue of what goes in a yogurt curry, and the photo looked exactly like what I ate in Minneapolis, but I cannot imagine acquiring all of these ingredients easily, and I didn't particularly feel like cooking the whole thing (boiling dairy products never goes well for me). So I heavily adapted the recipe and came up with a respectable copy that is easy to make and is delicious as a sauce over lentils or mung beans and rice (as I did below).
Kerala Yogurt Curry
Makes about 2 cups
1 cup plain yogurt
½ cup water
1 teaspoon lemon juice (or more, to taste)
½ teaspoon prepared mustard
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon each: curry powder, turmeric, and cumin
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 serrano pepper
½ small garlic clove
Black pepper to taste
Combine the yogurt, water, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and powdered spices in a small serving bowl and set aside.
In a mortar and pestle or food processor, mash the ginger, serrano, and garlic into a paste with a little drizzle of olive oil. Stir into the yogurt mixture and serve room temperature or cold.