The other morning, I was once again seduced by the beautiful produce at Whole Foods.
I ended up buying quite a plethora of it….I’m a sucker for pretty vegetables it seems.
Then I drove home, unloaded my groceries and put everything away before staring idly in front of my open refrigerator, wondering just what in the heck I was going to do with them all.
I pondered for a few minutes, ate a piece of cheese, and then an idea took hold.
Tender, seasonal veggies tossed in a creamy, spicy coconut milk broth that’s spiked with coriander, cumin seeds and cayenne. No meat ’cause I didn’t have any (although chicken would be delicious in this), and lots of fresh ginger and garlic to help rid myself of this cold I’ve been battling for the past week.
It tasted absolutely delicious, especially when served with a generous heap of fluffy brown rice. I packed some up, tied it with a ribbon and put it in Almanzo’s fridge as a thankful gesture for all his hard work on last weekend’s videos (see here and here).
And if my meat and potatoes lovin’ Texas boy says it’s great…well, it must be a sign.
To make this, you first should prepare and chop all your veggies. I used broccoli, sweet potato, carrot, fennel, onion, garlic, ginger and red bell pepper.
Chopping vegetables does take some time, but I honestly can’t think of a more relaxing activity.
Well, unless it’s a spa treatment.
Or walking on the beach.
But chopping carrots is up there, really!
Next, prepare your spices by toasting them over low heat for three to five minutes.
Toasting your spices really maximizes their flavor (see here for a great tutorial), thus creating a more authentic-tasting dish. For this curry, I used a mix of mustard seeds, coriander and cumin seeds. After those were toasted, I stirred in some cayenne and turmeric.
Add your toasted spices to large pot with some water, three tablespoons of fresh ginger and a can of diced tomatoes and let that simmer for twenty minutes while you saute all your vegetables, starting with your onions and then adding garlic, fennel, sweet potatoes, carrots and bell pepper.
You’re not trying to cook the vegetables in this step…you’re just adding flavor.
Stir a can of coconut milk into the tomato mixture and add your veggies. Let simmer for half an hour.
When the vegetables are tender, add a can of chickpeas and stir to combine everything.
That’s it! Don’t be deterred by the lengthy list of ingredients…..it’s really all veggies and spices!
Vegetarian Yellow Curry
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups water
1 15-oz can coconut milk (light or regular)
1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 fennel, sliced into 1/4th inch thick slices
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large garnet yam, peeled and chopped
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 T fresh ginger, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups broccoli florets
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp salt
1 T canola oil
Prepare all vegetables and set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium/low heat, toast the coriander, cumin seeds and mustard seeds gently for about four minutes to release maximum flavor. After toasting, add the cayenne, salt and turmeric and set aside.
In a large saucepot, combine the diced tomatoes, water, fresh ginger and spice mixture. Simmer for twenty minutes while you saute the vegetables.
Heat the canola oil over medium heat in a large skillet, add the onion and saute for about six minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic, fennel, carrot and sweet potato and cook for another five minutes, stirring often.
Blanch the broccoli florets in boiling water for thirty seconds (they will turn bright green). Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.
Add the coconut milk to the tomato mixture and then stir in the sauteed veggies, broccoli and bell pepper. Raise heat to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for thirty minutes, or until the carrots and sweet potato are tender. Stir in the chickpeas.
Serve curry on it’s own or with brown or jasmine rice. Cilantro is delicious on top!