Thursday, January 31, 2008

Oh How I Love A Good Curry!

As soon as it was suggested to me the other day to make a curry with my languishing vegetables, I truly had no choice. I was consumed with the idea of making a vegetable curry, and I spent quite a bit of time looking for the perfect recipe. I couldn't find what I was looking for, believe it or not! With most of the recipes I found, I was missing a vital ingredient or two, and I just didn't want to head out and hunt down random ingredients.

I started with a recipe from the recent Eating Well, but in the end, I treated it more like guidelines and completely changed it up to what I was looking for. It worked very well, and it made a great curry. I served it with basmati rice, plain yogurt, my cranberry chutney, and some homemade pita bread. It ended up being quite spicy, so the kids had something different, but Andy and I thoroughly enjoyed the curry, and it made plenty, so I can eat it for lunch the rest of the week.

My recipe for Vegetable Curry looks very long and daunting- don't be afraid! You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand and it will turn out great. Many of the ingredients are also spices, so it's just a matter of measuring and dumping. Overall, it takes about the same amount of time to cook a pot of rice, so while it looks complicated, it really is quick and very delicious.

Vegetable Curry
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 jalapenos, stems removed, coarsely chopped (remove seeds for less heat)
1 onion- 1/2 chopped, 1/2 sliced thinly and reserved for later
2 tsps oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 2 cups prepared from dried)
1 1/2 cup cubed butternut squash
1 cup fresh green beans, snapped (or 1 cup frozen)
1/4 cup thinly sliced fennel
1/2 large red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
2 handfuls baby spinach
To serve:
Basmati rice
plain yogurt or raita
assorted chutneys

In a large pot or dutch oven heat the 1 tsp of oil over medium high heat. Add the raisins and almonds and saute for about 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

Combine the can of diced tomatoes, jalapenos, and chopped onion in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.

Add the 2 teaspoons of oil to the pot. Add the cumin seeds, cardamom pods and bay leaves, and saute for about 1 minute, or until nice and fragrant. Add the thinly sliced onion to the pot, and cook for about 3 minutes- or until onion begins to turn golden, stir very frequently ro prevent burning.

Carefully, add the tomato mixture to the pot, as well as the Garam masala, cinnamon, salt, and turmeric. Bring to a boil, and add the vegetables all at once. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 20 minutes- or until the vegetables are tender.

Serve with your choice of accompaniments, sprinkling the top with the raisins and almonds.

No comments: