17 December 2012

Maggie's Indian-Inspired Curry

I mentioned a bit ago that veg*n eating pushes your food boundaries beyond your own culture and encourages you to try new things. This dish is no exception. I'm not sure I ever ate a curry prior to going vegan (a few dishes called for a bit of curry, but that was about it). However, the smell of curries always pleasantly tickled my nose, which led to trying them, and liking them, and craving them.

At some point, Shana and I were meal planning and I decided I wanted curry sometime that week. Shana was skeptical.* However, we agreed that she could eat something else if she didn't like what I made, so curry was on the menu. The problem was that I had never made a curry, watched someone make a curry, nor looked at a recipe for curry. I knew I wanted it to have a few specific foods in it (though why those foods...?), but my Google searching didn't turn up anything quite like what I wanted. Or, it did, but it included ingredients I couldn't easily obtain. So I just sort of threw things into a large pot, crossed my fingers, and sampled the end result. It was delicious!


The recipe below has the ingredients of both a liquid curry and a drier aloo gobi dish. As such, it isn't authentic to either style, but the taste is worth it. The overall recipe is not hot-spicy, but it is warming in your tummy due to the included spices.


Maggie's Indian-Inspired Curry
Ingredients
1 med. onion, chopped
4 med. red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 small head cauliflower, in florets (about 2-3 cups total)
1, 15 oz. can garbanzo beans (rinsed & drained)
1 c. frozen peas
1, 15 oz. can coconut milk
2 T. curry powder
1/8 tsp. dried ginger
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
dash coriander
1/2 - 1 c. water
salt to taste

Directions
1. Saute onions in a bit of olive oil in a large stock pot.
2. Add the spices and toast them for a minute or so.
3. Add 1/2 c. water, potato, and garbanzo beans, stir, turn heat to med-low and cover.
4. After about 5-7 minutes, add the cauliflower (and 1/2 c. water if pan is dry), stir, re-cover.
5. Stir occasionally until the potato and cauliflower are soft, then add frozen peas and coconut milk. Stir well until all coconut milk solids have dissolved and the peas are warmed through.

Helpful Hints
  • If you've never made a curry before, a quality curry powder is a must! "Curry" is actually a mix of other spices, so you could get really ambitious and make your own, I suppose. Keep in mind that your house may smell of curry for a few days. 
  • We serve this with basmati rice (though jasmine would be good, too). If you plan to have rice, start the rice at the beginning when you're starting the onions. When I start my rice then, it takes about the length of this dish for my rice cooker to finish with the 1.5 c. of dry rice. All in all, it's a pretty quick meal. 
  • You should be able to find coconut milk in a well-stocked grocery store, especially if they have an area designated for "Asian" foods. I use full-fat coconut milk in this recipe, but my guess is that low-fat would also work. If you use low-fat coconut milk, I'd add it a bit sooner and let it cook off a bit. 
  • I never add enough salt while I'm cooking this, so we always end up adding more to our own bowls. 
  • This is a soy- and gluten-free dinner. 

* "Skeptical" is an understatement. She ended up liking it, just not as much as I do.

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