Friday, October 8, 2010
Taming the Dragon
I've always been intimidated by Indian flavors, mostly because so many of the dishes I've eaten have been just way too hot for my poor palate to handle. Unlike my soon-to-be-better-half, my mouth does not enjoy vindaloo and scorching heat! This dish has the spice of Indian food (which I adore), yet doesn't pack much of a punch heat-wise, so its a happy compromise in our house. I hope you give it a try and let me know what you think!
South Indian-Style Veggie Curry
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion (finely diced)
- 4 cloves of garlic (finely minced)
- 2 inch piece of ginger (peeled and grated - should be about 1 tbsp.)
- 1 tbsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne
- 1 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth or veggie broth
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 3" cinnamon stick
- salt and pepper
- 4 cups cauliflower florets (I used frozen)
- 1 lb. cubed sweet potato (about 3 cups)
- 2 medium tomatoes (cored, seeded and coarsely chopped)
- 2 large carrots (peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds)
- 1 15 oz. can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
- 4 oz. baby spinach (about 4 lightly packed cups)
- 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp. finely grated lime zest
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
1. In a 5-6 quart large pot or dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until beginning to brown (3-4 minutes). Reduce the heat to medium-low until the onion is richly browned (5-7 minutes). Then add in the garlic and ginger - cooking for 1-2 minutes more to blend the flavors.
2. Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric and cayenne - stir for 30 seconds or so to lightly toast the spices, then add the tomato paste and stir until well blended (about 1 minute).
3. Add the broth, coconut milk, cinnamon stick, salt and pepper and bring it to a boil. Once it is boiling, reduce it to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Add the cauliflower, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and carrots. Raise the heat to medium high and return to a boil. Then reduce the heat down to low, cover and simmer until the veggies are tender - about 20 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick.
4. Stir in the chickpeas, spinach lime juice and zest - cook until the spinach is just wilted (about 3 minutes) and add a pinch more salt if needed. Serve with basmati rice and garnished with cilantro (if you like it - I think cilantro tastes like soap so I passed! Aaron loves it though, so he got the benefit of full cilantro flavor)
We enjoyed dinner with a side of naan bread - bought surprisingly at Wal-Mart and completely delicious warmed up with a little olive oil drizzled over the top! Hooray for a successful homemade Indian dinner!