Vegetable curry

Today I decided to try a recipe for vegetable curry that I saw on a Cooks Illustrated podcast. The problem: they don’t give *any* measurements. (You have to pay for their site to get the actual recipe, or go to the library and try to find the right issue, and who has time for that?) So I decided to be adventurous and just figure stuff out as I went along.

I’m pleased to say that nothing exploded while I was cooking. This is a very welcome change. The only thing I’m miffed about, as it sits simmering on the stove, is the size of pot I had to use. Understand that my biggest “everyday use” pot is about 3 1/4 quarts, and I could tell at a glance that it just wouldn’t fit all the ingredients. So I pulled out my only other pot, a honkin’ 12 1/2-quart soup pot. Wow! I had to use a step-stool when I was stirring it just to keep my arms from getting tired! It was truly a hobbit-living-in-a-big-people-world moment.

Anyway, the bottom of the pot got pretty brown as I was frying things, but at least the sides of the pot were high enough that nothing splattered out. Yay! I think I may have added too much water. It’s a little soupier than I’d like it. Next time: try with less.

In the end, the seasonings were very well done for me, which means it might be on the overpowering side for people who aren’t me. The problem with Marc not being here is that I can’t get a second opinion. But very tasty, especially with some heated-up naan bread. On a semi-related note, I am no longer allowed to eat vegetable curry wearing shirts that I like. Sigh.

This recipe makes LOTS of leftovers. I guess I’ll be eating curry for a few days.

Anyway, without further ado, the recipe, which I think is the very first recipe I’ve ever posted here!

Vegetable Curry

Ingredients:
1 tsp corriander
1 tsp cumin
a pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp curry powder
2 medium onions, diced
2 potatoes, cut into cubes
olive oil
1 can (156 ml / 5 oz) tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 small finger ginger, grated
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 small can diced tomatoes (I only had big cans of tomatoes, so I used half of a 28-oz can.)
1 can chickpeas (540 ml / 19 oz)
a pinch of salt
1 can peas (284 ml / 10 oz)
optional: cream or coconut milk

1. In a small pan, toast the coriander, cumin, cayenne, black pepper, and curry powder on medium-high heat for about three minutes. Set aside.

2. In a big pot, brown the onions and potatoes for about ten minutes, until golden brown. (Caveat: I was impatient and didn’t wait until they were golden brown. The onions had pretty much reduced all the way down, though. I think it’ll do a world of good for next time to wait a bit longer until they’re actually browned.)

3. Make a clearing in the middle of the pot, add some more olive oil, the tomato paste, garlic, and ginger. Stir together for about 30 seconds, until very fragrant. (Caveat: I have almost no sense of smell. “Very fragrant” means nothing to me. I was guessing on this one.)

4. Add the toasted spices back to the pot and stir everything together.

5. Add the cauliflower, tomatoes, and 2 1/2 cups of water. Stir. (Caveat: Next time, use less water. Maybe 1 1/2 cups?)

6. Add chickpeas and salt. Stir.

7. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. (Caveat: I was writing this recipe and left it for about 20. Also, my “simmer” was a little hot. Oh, well. Turned out fine anyway.)

8. Add peas. Optional: add in some cream or coconut milk. (Caveat: I didn’t do this.) Stir to incorporate.

9. Serve with warm naan bread or rice. Enjoy!

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