“Vegetarian – that’s an old Indian word meaning lousy hunter.” – Andy Rooney
I’m bringing this dish to Fiesta Friday #115 at FiestaFriday.net, where I’m co- hosting along with Julie@Hostess at Heart please click on over to join the party and add your Fiesta Friday links to the linkup!
Do you want to know what my first Indian restaurant experience was like? I dragged my husband, at the time just my boyfriend, almost kicking and screaming to an all you can eat for $9.99 lunch buffet at the newly opened Indian place close to our University. I was determined to have a little culinary adventure. Some friends came along and we all politely took small samples of everything. A little chicken curry, a little fried cauliflower, a single piece of naan (pffft!! Who can eat just one piece of naan?!?). Let me tell you what- they got me hooked on curry (and naan, ooooh naan!). The selection of vegetarian food is also ahhhmazing!
Honestly? I paused for quite awhile before deciding to share this recipe. It is very simple as far as curries go. On the other hand, this is the first curry that I could make reliably (and I have tried more than a few). Usually I look at the ingredients list for an authentic curry and my eyes glaze over. So many spices that are not on my pantry shelf… And the short cut recipes? They usually fall well short of my expectations. This recipe is different.
Lately, I have been making this at least once a week precisely because it is easy, simple and reliable (and meatless). The full fat coconut milk makes it silky and rich, which I just love! (Adding cream to curry is lovely but I rarely have it on hand.) The whole recipe comes together in about 30 minutes. It’s vegan/vegetarian and it is great refrigerator Velcro. You know what I mean – just add whatever vegetable bits and bobs you have floating around to the pan! The result will be delightful.
Vegetable Coconut Curry
- 2 Tbsp cooking oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 tsp mild yellow curry powder*
- 1 pinch cayenne (optional)
- ½ lb. carrots (3-4), peeled and diced
- 1 small onion, peeled and diced
- ½ head of cauliflower, cored and diced
- 1 lb. frozen mixed vegetables, or additional chopped fresh veggies of your choice
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes, with juices
- 1 (15 oz.) can chick peas/garbonzo beans (or 1.5 cups cooked beans prepared from dry – how to make dried beans in the slow cooker )
- 1 (15 oz.) can full fat coconut milk
- ½ tsp salt $0.02
- Handful fresh cilantro, or parsley chopped (optional)
Sauté the minced garlic and ginger in oil over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the curry powder and cayenne and sauté for a few seconds until fragrant.
Add the carrots and onions to the pan and sauté until soft. Add the remaining raw vegetables to the pan and continue to sauté until soft. Add the frozen veggies
Add the tomato paste and diced tomatoes the pan and stir well to combine. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until a thick sauce forms.
Turn the heat down to low and add the coconut milk. If the coconut milk gets too hot it will break or curdle so be patient. Stir until the coconut milk is well combined and the whole mixture is heated through.
* The pungency of the curry powder will vary based on the blend and how fresh it is. Mine was very fresh so 2 teaspoons was enough. You may need to add more to your taste.
Serve over rice and top with chopped herbs for color.
Have you had a culinary adventure lately? Please share, inquiring minds want to know!