Author Notes: HELP!! I'm seriously considering committing a devious deed.. & I lay the blame solely on the Ramps..The Mr.Hyde part of my brain is constantly entertaining carnal thoughts of sneaking a trip to my native India with a load of ramp seeds.. You see, Ramps are totally unknown in India & find no place in Indian cuisine, But then they seem to be tailor - evolved for it.. that garlicky aroma, those crunchy leaves..the next best thing that I can practically do is of course put the ramp season to good use by incorporating it into as many dishes as I can..
This dish was in a way, inspired by F52 er Antonia James's chile pepper allergy. I had suggested a similar dish to her some time ago that involved spicing with black pepper. This dish has evolved waay beyond that one & bears little resemblance to the original dish (by Tarla Dalal) - Panfusine
Ramp Masala Paste
- 8 ramp bulbs, (the white part)
- 1 large onion, (I prefer white, but the red ones will do in a pinch)
- 1/2 cup broken cashew nuts
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger root
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 stalks of Ramp, stems & leaves (chopped into thin strips)
- 8 oz. block of Paneer cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 cups skim or low fat milk
- 2-3 tablespoons sour cream
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1 sprig (~ 15-20) pickled green peppercorns, smashed
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Sprigs of fresh mint for garnish
- Pickled green peppercorns (in brine) are available in Indian grocery stores inder the brand name Lakshmi as 'green pepper pickles'
- Blend the ramp, onions, cashew & ginger into fine paste preferably without using any additional water.
- Heat the butter in a large skillet and add the cashew paste. Saute on low heat, until the mixture loses that raw onion aroma.
- Heat vegetable oil in another smaller non stick skillet and saute the frozen peas. Add the ramp stalks & leaves & allow to wilt.
- Transfer to wilted greens & peas into the cashew mixture, along with the Paneer, crushed peppercorns (Add a little in the beginning and increase as per your personal taste) turmeric, salt and garam masala.
- Mix to combine. Add the milk, gradually into the curry, stirring all the while. Simmer on low heat until the flavors combine. Stir in the Sour cream& transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with mint & serve warm with Parathas, Roti or just plain Basmati rice.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Spring Alliums