Mama Buddha’s “Indian Breakfast”: Lamb Curry, Dal and Curried Potatoes

As promised, though later than I had hoped, I’m bringing you a Mama Buddha original.

While not northern Chinese, I think you’ll like it. And I promise that the week continues in the vein of northern China, though perhaps with a little bit of Thanksgiving hanging around…

If you’ve been following along, you know that my mom is Hungarian (the HUNGARY part of The Hungary Buddha), and because of that, I grew up eating things like the poppyseed bread and cabbage rolls.  However, because she is awesome (duh), I also grew up eating things like gumbo and black beans and rice with mojo pork ribs (wait for it- coming in Cuba).  And because she married the Big Buddha, she made coconut chicken and what I bring to you today: Indian breakfast.

Ok, I’m pretty sure it’s not legally or authentically called “indian breakfast.” However, it’s what we have always called it. It’s a hodgepodge of curries and soups, served along rice and puffed up fried bread, puri (that is the actual real name). I’m not sure if it has actual Indian roots, or more Nepalese roots, but in any case, it has Buddha roots, and I’ve been shoving this in my face as long as I can remember.

I’m more inclined to think this leans more towards the Nepalese since it bears a striking resemblance to that which Tomato and I ate atop a Nepalese mountain a little over two years ago. Whatever…it’s time to stop debating the heritage of this dish and just put it out there for you to make and try. If you like actual Indian food, I’m confident that you will like our so-called Indian food.  As with all “mom” recipes, these amounts are approximate. Add more/less of the spices as you like.

For the curried potatoes:


2 TB vegetable oil

1 lb potatoes, diced and boiled until soft

2 large onions, sliced

1 inch fresh ginger, diced

3-4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup tomatoes, diced

1 cup frozen peas

1 jalapeno, diced

¼ tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin

4 whole cloves

1 inch cinnamon stick

Cilantro, diced to garnish


1.  In a bit of oil, toast the onions until golden brown.  Remove from oil, drain on a paper towel and set aside until the end.

2.  In the same pan, saute the garlic, ginger and jalapeno.  Add the spices and toast until fragrant.  Add in cooked potatoes, peas and tomatoes.

3.  Cook just a few more minutes until the potatoes are soft and creamy.  Just before removing everything from the heat, add the onions and mix them all together.  Finish with cilantro.

curried potatoes

For the lamb curry:


1 ½ pounds ground lamb or beef

2 large onions, chopped

5 cloves garlic, chopped

1 medium tomato, diced

1 ½ inches fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

1 jalapeno, diced

2 cups chick peas, cooked (may use canned)

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

¼  tsp turmeric

4-5 crushed cardamom pods

6-8 whole cloves

1  1“ cinnamon stick

1- 1 ½ cups chicken broth, or as you like

Salt and pepper to taste


1.  Brown and drain ground meat.

2.  Saute the onion, garlic and ginger with meat until translucent.  Add spices and toast a few minutes until fragrant.

3.  Add the diced tomato and chick peas.  Add the chicken broth, as much or as little as it reaches the consistency you desire.  Simmer 45 min.

lamb curry

For the dal:


1 TB oil

1 cup cooked yellow or pink lentils

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

1 inch ginger, peeled and sliced

½ cup okra, chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

½ cup onion, diced

1 small tomato, diced

1 small jalapeno, diced

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp coriander

¼ tsp turmeric

1 cup water (or to consistency)

Cilantro, chopped for garnish


1.  In oil, saute onion, garlic, ginger and pepper. Add the spices and toast.

2.  Add tomato and okra, sauté for about one minute, and add the lentils and the water to desired consistency.

3.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with cilantro.


Mama forgot to give me the puri recipe, so I’ll get that and deliver shortly. Until then, this is what they look like:


Serve all of the above with rice and puri or roti


If calling this Indian Breakfast is wrong, I don’t want to be right…

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