Basic Indian Curry

I love curry when it's cold.  Warm, aromatic and full of flavorful spices:  it really is the best thing.  Here's a simple one you can whip up for a delicious vegetarian dinner on the fly.  

Garam masala is an indian spice blend.  I use one from Simply Organics brand.  It's a blend of peppers, mace, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves...  

Ghee is a nutty, aromatic clarified butter commonly used in indian cooking.  It's great for cooking because of its high smoke point and buttery taste.  It can be found in well stocked grocery stores or substituted with a high heat oil.  

serves 2.

Basic Indian Curry

 bit of ghee or splash high heat oil, like grape seed, safflower, canola

1 yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ginger, peeled, minced

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted

2 teaspoons garam masala

1/4 cup water

1 14 oz tin chickpeas, drained, rinsed

10 oz diced, canned tomatoes

salt, to taste

lime juice, to taste

Heat a saute pan over medium to medium high heat.  Add oil.  Add onion and saute until browned.  Add ginger, garlic, toasted cumin seeds and garam masala.  Cook, stirring until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Add water and cook off.  Add chickpeas and tomatoes.  Simmer 10 minutes.  Season with salt and lime before serving.  

 

Cauliflower + Chickpea Coconut Curry

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This is a quick curry you can whip up while your rice is cooking.  (I can't eat curry without rice.  No way.)  The spice level is up to you and your curry paste.  Spice levels vary from paste to paste so give yours a little taste before you begin.  A mild paste, I suggest 2 to 3 tablespoons.  A spicy paste, maybe only 1 tablespoon. 

Serves 4.

Red Curry + Cauliflower + Chickpeas

1 block firm tofu

2 tablespoon grapeseed oil, divided

1 to 3 tablespoons red curry paste

1 shallot, chopped

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 inch fresh ginger, grated

2 carrots, peeled, chopped

1/2 head cauliflower, chopped into florets

1 1/2 cup vegetable stock

1 1/2 cup lite coconut milk

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tin chickpeas, drained, rinsed

1 teaspoon fish sauce

juice of 1 lime

1/2 bunch lacinato kale, sliced

s + p

rice vinegar, to taste

fresh basil, chopped, for garnish

Place tofu block on a folded dish towel and cover with another.  Place something heavy on top and leave it alone to drain for 30 minutes.  The less water in the tofu the better for frying.  

Heat 1 tablespoon grape seed oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add tofu and cook about 4 minutes on each side.  Once crispy, transfer to towel to drain.  

Wipe out skillet and heat 1 tablespoon grape seed oil over medium high heat.  Add curry paste, shallot, garlic and ginger.  Cook, stirring continuously for 2 minutes.  Add carrots and cauliflower, stirring to coat.  Add stock, coconut milk and brown sugar.  Cook 5 to 7 minutes until cauliflower is done.  Add tofu, chickpeas, fish sauce, lime juice and kale.  

Season with salt, pepper, rice vinegar.  Garnish with basil.  Serve with rice. 

 

Coconut Chickpea + Mixed Vegetable Curry

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Be prepared to have a lot of soup on your hands.  This recipe makes about 5 quarts.  I like to have huge amounts of healthy things like this around for a quick lunch or dinner during a busy week.  

A quick note on curry powder:  not all curry powders are created equally.  Look for one with fenugreek in it.  This  makes a big difference in flavor.  

Coconut Chickpea + Mixed Vegetable Curry Soup

Splash olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 inch fresh ginger, minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 carrots, peeled, chopped

1 medium head cauliflower, trimmed, chopped

1 14oz tin diced tomatoes

1 14 oz tin LITE coconut milk

6 cups vegetable stock

2 potatoes, diced

4 teaspoons curry powder

1 red bell pepper, seeded, chopped

1 green bell pepper, seeded, chopped

1 14oz tin chickpeas, drained, rinsed

1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed, chopped

lime juice, to taste

s + p

In a large (at least 5.5 quart) pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add onion and saute 5-8 minutes until soft and clear.  Add garlic and ginger.  Saute 2 minutes more.  Add carrots and cauliflower.  Cook 2 minutes more, stirring frequently.  Add tomatoes, coconut milk, stock, potatoes and curry powder. Stir.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.  Add bell peppers.  Simmer 5 minutes more.  Add chickpeas and kale.  Season with lime juice, salt and pepper.  

 

Green Curry Puffs

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I've been making these little things for years with a potato filling but after a little experimenting I am sold on this celery root filling.  Feel free to substitute some or all of the celery root with potato for a more traditional taste.  

The puffs can be folded in half as triangles or into cute pointed pillows.  Just fold opposite corners together pressing the seams together to seal.

The green curry paste I use is by Thai Kitchen.  It's easily found in the international food aisle of most grocery stores.  

Green Curry Puffs

1 celery root, peeled and chopped into large pieces

1/4 cup diced carrot (about 1 small)

1/4 cup diced edamame (without shell)

3 teaspoons tamari sauce

2 teaspoons green curry paste

dash fish sauce

about 30 wonton wrappers

oil for frying (vegetable, canola...)

Soy Lime Dipping Sauce

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons soy

dash sesame oil

red pepper flakes to taste

For Puffs:  Boil celery root until very soft and smashable, about 30 minutes.  Drain water and smash.  Add carrots, edamame, tamari sauce, green curry paste and fish sauce.  Stir until evenly combined.  Spoon onto curry wrappers and fold in desired way.  Use a small brush or finger to swipe edges with water to help tightly seal.  

Heat about 2 inches of oil in a pot to 350 degrees.  Fry puffs about 1 minute on each side until crispy and toasty brown.  Transfer to towel to drain. Work in batches if needed.  Serve warm.

For Dipping Sauce:  Stir together soy, lime juice, sesame oil and pepper flakes.  

Curry Falafel + Pickled Onions

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If you live in nyc then you must already know and love the cheap vegetarian delight known as the falafel sandwich.  I know I do.  I decided to make falafels for dinner the other night using my new food processor and while delicious, standing over a pot of hot frying oil I did ask myself 'why am I going to all this trouble when I can just pop down the street and get a tasty one for 3 dollars?'     

I don't know why.  But I did go through the trouble and they were great.  

(I got a little lazy and purchased an already made tzatziki sauce from whole foods.  Poor decision.  Next time I'll make my own with plain greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, dill, salt, pepper and cucumbers.  Silly me.)  

Curry Falafels

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

1 tin chickpeas, drained

1/4 cup fresh parsley

2 tablespoons curry powder

s + p

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup flour

Oil for frying

Pickled Red Onions

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 red onion, thinly sliced

For Serving:  shredded cabbage, lettuce, diced tomatoes, tzatziki, hot sauce, hummus, pickled jalapenos and pita bread are all great

For the Falafel:  In a food processor, coarsely chop garlic and onion.  Mix in chickpeas, parsley, curry, lemon, pepper flakes, s + p and baking powder.  Add flour.  (The flour is going to help hold the mixture together.  If during frying the balls start to flake off or come apart then you will need to add more flour.)

Heat 2 inches of oil in a pot to 350 degrees and remember to BE CAREFUL (it's hot).

Form falafel mixture into ping pong sized balls.  Gently place them in oil and fry about 8 minutes until crispy and dark brown.  Transfer to a paper towel to drain.  

For pickled onion, In a small bowl, stir vinegar, sugar and salt until dissolved.  Add onion and let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes.