Homemade Yellow Curry with Vegetables

Heavenly aromas are just an hour away.

I’ve been trying to eat more vegetables and I recently found a delicious sounding recipe for Mixed Vegetable Curry in a cookbook called New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant. Located in Ithica, New York, the 39-year old Moosewood is known for its wholesome vegetarian cooking. As I read the ingredient list it was easy to imagine the fragrant blend of cinnamon, cardamom, crushed fennel seeds, turmeric and fresh garlic that would soon scent my kitchen. The thought of making curry from scratch was exciting too, for I have long thought of the cupboard staple as a mysterious blend of exotic spices. Turns out it was not difficult to make, and was flavorful and hearty enough to impress my meat-loving husband. I served the dish on a bed of quinoa. And a batch of freshly baked whole wheat chocolate chip cookies, still slightly gooey and warm from the oven, served as dessert.

Chopping green bell pepper, carrots, tomatoes and cauliflower. Spices were crushed in an heirloom molcajete that was used by my husband's grandfather for crushing garlic and chiles.

Chopping green bell pepper, carrots, tomatoes and cauliflower. Spices were crushed in an heirloom molcajete that was used by my husband’s grandfather for crushing garlic and chiles.

Vegetables seasoned with homemade curry.

Mixed vegetable curry topped with almonds and raisins.

Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies

Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

Mixed Vegetable Curry from New Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant

2 TBL vegetable oil
3 TBL butter
.5 tsp black mustard seeds (optional)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 tsp cinnamon
.5 tsp ground cardamom
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1.5 tsp ground coriander seeds
1.5 tsp ground fennel seeds
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp grated fresh ginger root
.5 tsp cayenne (or more to taste)
1 tsp salt
2 cups chopped onions (optional)
2 medium carrots, sliced into half-moons
3 cup cubed sweet potatoes or white potatoes
1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into florets
.75 cup water
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
2 cups green peas or 2 medium green peppers, chopped

2 cups plain yogurt
.5 cup cashews, lightly toasted [I used raw almonds]
.5 cup raisins
1 banana

Melt the butter and oil in a skillet or wok. Add the mustard seeds and heat until they begin to pop. Add the remaining spices and cook on low heat for a couple of minutes to enhance the flavors of the spices. Be very careful not to burn them. Add the chopped onions and saute until translucent.

Add the carrots and cook several minutes. Add the potatoes and cook a few minutes more. Add the cauliflower and stir well to coat all the vegetables with the spice mixture. Add the water, cover the pan, and simmer about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the potatoes are tender but not completely cooked, add the tomatoes and green peas or green peppers. Simmer covered for 10 to 15 minutes longer. The vegetables should retain their bright color, and if you use sweet potatoes, they will soften and become part of the sauce making it thicker and more interesting.

Serve on a bed of plain or coconut rice [or quinoa]. Garnish with yogurt, cashews, raisins, and banana slices. Accompany with peach chutney.

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