Cold Winter Curry

Oh, the flavors! Oh, the warmth! Oh, the kale! I can’t get enough of the stuff! I’ve consumed four large bunches and another of swiss chard this week – almost entirely on my own! Once I started eating it, I couldn’t get enough! The same happened with beets, and I think sweet potatoes must be right up there in the Gotta Have It department. While the rest of you “Master” cleanse, juice and go raw, I’m focusing on ROY G. BIV and powerful spices warmed to perfection!

In this recipe:

  • Red – tomatoes
  • Orange – sweet potatoes
  • Yellow – cauliflower
  • Green – kale
  • Blue/Indigo/Violet – last seen in Beety Tweety Bird Nests
  • Powerful Spices: Ginger, garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, hot peppers

Ingredients Chickpea Curry:

  • 2 Tbs. coconut oil
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, mince
  • 1 Serrano pepper, minced
  • 3 fresh tomatoes, blended
  • 3/4 can light coconut milk
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. whole brown mustard seed
  • 2-3 tsp. Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 cups chickpeas, pre-cooked
  • 1 bunch kale, finely chopped

Directions: Cook chickpeas or use canned. On medium heat, melt coconut oil. Add red onion and saute until translucent. Add cumin, brown mustard seed and Garam Masala to the oil for a quick toast. Next add garlic, ginger and chile pepper. All these ingredients should be cooked for a minute or so, just until the aromas are released. Next, add the pureed tomato, coconut milk and chickpeas. Allow to simmer on very low heat for about 5 minutes. Right before serving, mix in the kale cooking it just past raw to bright green.

Cauliflower and Sweet Potatoes in Madras Peanut Curry Sauce:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 can coconut milk
  • 2 Tbs. creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tbs. Madras style curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Directions: Warm the coconut milk and the peanut butter in a small pot. When the peanut butter begins to melt, whisk the two ingredients together. Add spices and mix well. Toss in cauliflower and sweet potatoes. Allow to steam on low heat for a few minutes until vegetables are tender.

Note: I tried roasting the veggies with the sauce at 450 degrees. They cooked, but did not crisp at all. I love the idea of serving the cauliflower roasted like I did here. Next time.

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Chickpea Curry – Chole Masala

Eating Indian is like watching a contortionist. Each bite delivers a surprising shape as flavors unfold on your tongue in surprising and interesting ways. This curry, for example, is not at all hot, but powerfully flavorful. There’s a hint of lemon, then cinnamon, then fennel, then the sweet tang of mango. Serve this with Indian Rice Pancakes and coconut cilantro chutney and your mouth will think it’s on holiday!

Ingredients:

  • Peanut oil to lightly coat the pan
  • 1 Tbs. cumin seed
  • 1 Tbs.  brown mustard seed
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 8 cups cooked garbanzo beans
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 14-ounce can lite coconut milk
  • 1 mango peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach torn to bits
  • 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped

Directions: In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Toast cumin, mustard, and fennel seeds, stirring constantly until they begin to pop. Add onion and stir until soft. Add remaining spices and stir for a couple of minutes while the onions and spices blend and cook.

Stir in garbanzo beans, sweet potato and coconut milk. Bring pot to a low simmer, cover, and cook until the sweet potatoes are soft. Once the potatoes are cooked, use a fork to mash them to thicken. Next add in the red peppers, mango, spinach and cilantro. Allow the curry to simmer just until the spinach is wilted and bright green.

Yellow Curry

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Cooking sure takes on a new meaning when it’s performed after a full day’s work. Now instead of leisurely peeling carrots and marveling at their bright orange beauty, I find myself counting how many strokes of the peeler it takes to clean them of their lovely little roots. Did you know that Foxtail Farm’s carrots each take, on average, seventeen peels. The creamy fresh yellow potatoes take on average twenty-four peels and the same number of knife strokes to dice them! I’ve either developed obsessive compulsive traits, or I have math on my brain.

As many of you know I have spent the last two months exploring the virtues of my CSA box while on summer break from my teaching job. You have benefited from my crazy cooking adventures. Now my energetic and very eager fifth graders are anxiously awaiting the first day of school, and I am busy setting up a wonderful learning environment so their learning can be maximized. I’ve turned my attention away from menu planning and back to lessons. The blog is definitely enticing especially when last week’s CSA box was still lingering in the crisper drawer until just a minute ago. Tomorrow is Thursday, my next CSA box arrives, and my students will be coming to meet me at the Open House. The juggling act begins.

I still have five or six weeks of CSA boxes coming, so I’ll still be cooking. I’ll try to continue to post the recipes that work, but in warning, it could end up being a lot of soup.  We shall see.

This yellow curry uses Foxtail Farm yellow potatoes, carrots, yellow wax beans and delicious yellow onions. Not from the CSA were the garlic, spices and cilantro.

Yellow Curry Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. canola oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut into thin rings
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10-12 small carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 pounds yellow potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 pound yellow wax beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 10 Holy Basil leaves, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tsp. brown mustard seed
  • 1 Tbs. cumin seed
  • 2 Tbs. good curry powder (I used Penzey’s Hot Curry Powder)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • water for simmering

Directions: Saute the onion rings on low heat until they begin to caramelize and then add the spices. Turn the heat up just a little and remember, you will hear the mustard seeds start to pop and turn a little gray. Move the spices around and add the garlic. Saute just until the garlic releases its’ fragrance. Next add the potatoes, beans and carrots and enough water just to be able to simmer the veggies, perhaps three or four cups. When the potatoes are tender, gently fold in the herbs. Serve immediately over jasmin rice.

Indian Curry Fried Rice

Indian Curry Fried Rice

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This is a nice take on fried rice – a little surprise of flavors! This dish was prepared for the almost-nine-year-old in our life who doesn’t like brown rice. If I had my druthers, I would prefer the nutty chew of a good stubby brown, but I’ll settle for jasmine. It’s not as healthy, but with the coconut oil, it’s really lovely, and the Penzeys Balti was an easy way to give it a kick.

Ingredients

1 Tbs. peanut oil

1 tsp. sesame oil

1 tsp. coconut oil

1 medium onion diced

1 cup diced carrots

1 small head cauliflower

1 small bunch broccoli

5 cloves garlic

2-3 cups cooked rice

3/4 tsp. salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

1 tsp. Penzeys Balti Seasoning

Lemon wedge

Directions:

I used a big stainless skillet for this project because I can keep everything to a single layer. I like to brown the carrots and cauliflower in my fried rice. I always prep all the vegetables first so I can cook them in an appropriate order. First get the pan hot and put the oils in. Once the pan is hot, turn it down to carmelize the onion. When the onion begins to turn a golden brown, add the carrots and cauliflower to the pan. I let them cook until the sides brown. Next add the broccoli and give the veggies a mix. Once the broccoli is bright grees, add the garlic and mix. As soon as that fragrant garlic comes up out of the pan add the rice to the mix. Now I turn the heat up just a little and stir to mix it all together. Keep the food in the skillet moving so the garlic doesn’t burn. As soon as it’s mixed turn down the heat again. Add all the spices and mix well. I always get a crust on the bottom of the pan when I make fried rice. I’ve tried using more oil, but tend to not like it when it’s greasy. It may be my pan, or just the reality of fried rice. Any thoughts or suggestions?