Indian-Style Stir Fry

From Jarrett Mann, 2006

2 lb. or so potatoes (about 6 medium sized ones) 
1 cup chopped red onion
1 large or 2 medium daikon, chopped into whatever size
1 head cauliflower, chopped into bite size
3 large or 5 medium carrots, cut into slices or sticks, or whatever
3 Tbsp. Cooking oil, like canola, vegetable, peanut, or anything really other than olive oil
1 Tbsp. Sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 Tbsp. Turmeric
1 Tbsp. Curry powder or garam masala or channa masala (available at any Indian grocer)
1-3 tsp. Salt, to taste
4-6 cups White or brown rice, cooked by regular means
*specialty spices, not required

*The traditional way to cook this is with black mustard seed, dhal (lentils are close enough), curry leaf (this is not where curry powder comes from), and a touch of chili, dried chili flakes are fine. Each of these just needs a pinch, so have any/all of them on hand if you want.

Serves 4. Start off by cooking potatoes. Chop into 1 inch cubes or so, skins are OK but not required. Boil in plenty of water for 40 minutes. I know this seems long, they should come out very well cooked. Once that is going, make the rice. When the rice is finished, remove from heat but keep a lid on to keep it warm.

When the potatoes are 10-15 minutes from finished, start heating a skillet, wok, or pan with the cooking oil and sesame oil on high heat. This is the tricky part, where you add traditional spices. If you want, just skip to the part of adding the garlic. Otherwise, let the oil heat for a minute. Add a large pinch of lentils and then mustard seed. Keep the heat on high, when the mustard seed starts to pop, add the curry leaves and chili flakes. Stir continuously. After 30 seconds, add the garlic. It should sizzle rapidly.

When the garlic first starts to brown, add the onions and sauté them for a few minutes. When the onions are becoming translucent, add the cauliflower and daikon. Stir fry now for about 4 minutes before adding the carrots and continue to stir fry, stirring every minute or so for another 5 minutes. If things start to burn add a bit more oil, or turn down the heat, or both.

When the vegetables are mostly cooked, turn the heat to very low. Now strain the potatoes, and add them to the stir fry. Add also the turmeric, salt and other spices desired. Toss well over the low heat, and check for the salt level you want. The potatoes fall apart somewhat, and give it an almost saucy feel, add a little water if you want. Viola! Serve with rice.