Sunday, May 15, 2011

Vegetable Curry

I think I made a curry last night but wasn’t really sure so I had to look it up!  Wikipedia to the rescue!

Curry (pronounced /ˈkʌri/) is a generic description used throughout Western culture to describe a variety of spiced dishes, especially from Indian or other South Asian cuisines. Three spices found in most curry powders are turmeric, coriander, and cumin; a wide range of additional spices may be included depending on the geographic region and the foods being included (meats, fish, lentils, rice, etc.).[1] The word "curry" is analogous to "soup" or "stew" in that there is no particular ingredient that makes something "curry."

Well, that would explain my confusion – curry is a soup or stew or it’s a blend of spices including, most commonly, but not necessarily, turmeric, coriander, and/or cumin.   So, according to that indefinite definition, I did make a curry last night! 

This is a hearty vegetable stew that contains said spices, coconut milk, ginger and sweet potatoes.  It is as delicious as it is good for you!

I am all about my soups being rather thick, so if you would rather have a more liquid soup, skip the blender part of this recipe! However, I have to tell you that you would really be missing out!!  The blended soup somehow satisfies just a little more, making it just-the-right-amount-of hearty!

Vegetable Curry

¼ tsp ground cardamom
3 tsp tumeric
2 tsp red pepper flakes 
3 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp cinnamon
¾ tsp sea salt – or more to taste
2 TBS olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 TBS freshly grated, peeled ginger
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large sweet potato, ¼ inch slices and then cut in half
½ a medium head of cauliflower – bite size pieces
1 can garbanzo beans
½ can coconut milk, lite if you prefer
optional toppings
         plain greek yogurt
fresh cilantro, chopped
Combine cardamom thru salt in a small bowl and set aside.

To make the spice mix, combine the cardamom through salt into a ramekin and set aside.

Heat oil in a heavy dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Stir in onions and sauté until soft, just a couple minutes.  Add the ginger, garlic and spice mixture.  Cook another couple minutes until the spices are fragrant. 

Add about a 1/4 cup water to the dutch oven and scrape off the bits of flavor that have stuck to the bottom of the pan.  Then add 3 cups water, sweet potatoes and cauliflower. Stir to mix everything up.

Cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes, until the potatoes are soft.  Taste and add more salt if needed.  Stir in the garbanzo beans and ½ the can of coconut milk and simmer 5-10 more minutes just to heat through.

Very carefully, ladle soup into a blender. I put in about ½ the soup for my favorite consistency.  The more you blend, the thicker the soup. Find the consistency that you like.  Do NOT fill the blender more than half way or once you puree it, the heat and all the soup will do it’s best to blow off the lid and fly in your face!!!  So, fill the blender ½ way and then pulse the puree button quickly while holding the lid on with your other hand.  By starting with the pulse, you should be able to figure out just how much you can give it without having burn marks on your face, while at the same time getting the soup to puree nicely. If you need to, pour the pureed blender-full into a large bowl and add more soup to the blender.  Once you have as much soup pureed as you would like, add all the pureed soup back into the dutch oven.  Keep warm until you are ready to eat. 

Ladle soup into bowls and allow people to top their soup with a dollop of yogurt (a very nice touch) and/or cilantro. 

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