Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Recipe sniping: vegetable curry

The latest set of recipes are up! Yum and yum. This was the toughest contest so far for me, but I eventually decided to vote for PhysioProf once again, despite the fried egg fiasco that I am going to pretend I didn't see. Arctic char, mushrooms, leeks, asparagus, red wine and Jameson's whiskey all in the same recipe = WIN! Dude knows his fish.

Ignoring the guidelines again, I am turning my student cooking version of the second fish course into a vegan main course. I hope that any readers who actually know what they’re doing with Indian food will not be too unkind about this recipe that I made up for my vegan cousin! Purists will indeed be dismayed, but this is a great weeknight recipe. I made a curry completely from scratch once and it was fabulous; almost worth the investment of time and effort.

1 medium yellow onion
1 medium aubergine / egg plant (the long thin ones that I buy in my local Indian store seem to work better than the fatter, darker ones I’m more familiar with from European cooking)
Okra (optional, I know lots of people don’t like it. You can always throw some green pepper in with the onions if you want to break up the predominantly red / orange colour of the dish)
1 can chick peas
1 can baby corn
Madras curry PASTE (NOT curry sauce. Patak’s is good)
1 large (and I do mean the LARGE size) can of diced tomatoes
Garlic to taste
Cumin powder to taste
Dried thyme to taste

Fry the chopped onions and garlic in oil. After a couple of minutes, add the cumin and thyme. At this point it will already smell fantastic and people will think you are a genius.

Meanwhile, roughly dice the aubergine / egg plant and boil for a couple of minutes. This prevents it from soaking up too much oil when you add it to the main pan. Drain and add to the onions; cook for another few minutes.

Stir the madras curry paste into the onions and aubergine until they are well and truly coated with the spicy goodness. The amount to use is a matter of taste. I like mine reasonably hot and add a good few tablespoons. If you’re not sure, just use a little bit and you can always add more in later, although it does seem to taste better if you add it all at this stage.

Add the can of tomatoes and stir well. Continue to stir frequently as the tomatoes come up to a gentle simmer. If you are using okra, add it now and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes. This prevents the dreaded sliminess… most of the time. And the rest of the ingredients mask most of it anyway. I happen to love okra enough to put up with a little slime. If you are not using okra you don’t have to wait the full 15 minutes, just wait until it looks ready and then…

Add the chick peas and halved mini corn. It is always a good idea to rinse the chick peas in water a few times before adding them if you know what I mean.

Serve with rice, mango chutney, hot lime pickle and an icy cold beer.

See also:
Amuse bouche
Salad
Appetisers

10 comments:

  1. No, no, no Cath! You can't just ignore the egg! That egg was a travesty!

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  2. I know, I know... but it was on top of the asparagus, not on top of the fish. If it had been on top of the fish I'd have voted for you. The char/leek/mushroom/booze combo was unsullied by eggy grossness and sounded yumtastic. Sorry...

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  3. Not bad Cath, I give you points for using Pataks. It is a paste that is present in many Indian homes, for those days we are too tired and need to cheat.

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  4. Actually, Cath, I think yours wins as far as an easy and yummy weeknight meal. I only like fish when it is super fresh, so that prevents me from eating it during the week (as I don't have the opportunity to shop during the week much). With yours, I can grab everything on the weekend and still whip up something super tasty on a busy weeknight (an added bonus is leftovers for lunch!).

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  5. Crystal, and it doesn't even have any cheese in it! (first for me in this series).

    Scientistmother, thanks! Patak's is good stuff, I have their mango chutney (yum) and lime pickle (double yum) too.

    Mermaid, the leftovers are great! Curry is one of those things that seems to actually get better (and spicier) when it's left for a day or two and then reheated.

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  6. Cath - glad to know we are on the same page :) I make something very similar, both with and without okra (and unfortunately without chick peas since Hubby doesn't like them?!?), and I love it!

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  7. Ha! Excellent. It's a good combination, although I can't imagine it without the chick peas. Your husband doesn't even like hummus?

    Lately I have been making a salad with spinach, tomatoes, chick peas, canned tuna and lemon juice. It is YUMMY.

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  8. Sounds fantastic. I'm enjoying your sideline contributions to the recipe war--easy and fast always wins with me. Isis's recipes are always beautiful-looking and sounding, but a bit much for this busy mother! (I'm afraid I will never live up to her goddesshood). Thanks for sharing recipes for mere mortals!

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  9. I know - I don't know how she does it! I'm glad you're enjoying these recipes.

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