Tag Archives: curry

May I Curry Your Flavor?

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c leftover rotisserie chicken, chopped
  • 3/4 c tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 c fresh spinach
  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1/2 c vegetable broth
  • 1/4 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp hot curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • dash asafoetida

P1100392Looking for — or didn’t know you were looking for — a spicy new sauce for pulled chicken or pork? Tailgate dishes becoming a little predictable? Don’t usually cotton to curries? Give this a try for more kick than curry.

Start onion and garlic in melted ghee on the L side of L for at least 20m. Sprinkle in the mustard seeds and increase heat to the M side of ML until crackling is heard. Add tomatoes, a dash of broth and cover 5-10m. Chop up your chicken and spinach, set aside. Return to the pan and crush those tomato bits with your spatula, adding the remainder of spices. Mix, mush and gently pummel everything before adding in the spinach. When it begins to wilt upon stir, add in the rest of your liquids, stir well, then add in the chicken. Do some more stirring well while it comes to a boil on M. When it does, cover the pan and turn heat back to the L side of L. Let sit and be heated together as one, then enjoy on a bun or over rice for 5 spoons of flavor.

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Moong-day, Moong-day (ft. Nutty Cabbage)

In my pantry today:

  • 1/2 medium cabbage
  • 1/3 c moong dal
  • 1/3 c dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 c Basmati rice, cooked/cold
  • 1 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 3 c vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp hot curry powder 
  • 1 pinch asafoetida

peanutcabbage

I’ve got to come clean about something.

I really like cabbage.

Cannot lie. Like it, prefer it even over other vegetables. This all came to pass long before I understood its health benefits beyond not being cake. Want to improve your health but can’t afford another prescription? Eat cruciferous vegetables. That being said…

Start the ghee out on ML and when melted add the onion. Cook over ML heat for 10m or so then toss in the raw cabbage. Turn up heat to MH and stir fry for a minute or two; add 1/2 c of broth and cover. Continue letting steam over M heat for another 10 minutes. Remove lid and stir in seasonings, peanuts. Bring back to a boil and stir in moong with remainder of broth. Bring back to a boil and let cook on M until moong is tender (20-30m) and most of the liquid is gone. Remove from heat and toss in cold rice. Put back on ML heat and toss until everything is hot. Maybe this looks like it takes forever, but there were a lot of dishes to wash ‘n junk and it seemed to take no time at all (and precious little effort). As a combined nut lover and one who loves cabbage done its due, I give this 5 spoons!

Tomorrow’s Lentils Get Corny

In my pantry today:

freezerlentilsOk, so it was still just a thaw-and-eat meal (and one made with love!) and would’ve been perfectly fine without any additions. But we were hungry. And it was cold. So this happened and it was good. 5 spoons!

 

Cheddar Chicken Pie with Broccoli Sentinels (is Only Platonic Friends with the Curry Cabbage)

In my pantry today:

  • 1 frozen, unbaked pie shell
  • 1 can chicken breast, drained and rinsed
  • 2 c large broccoli florets
  • 2/3 c cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 “roasted chicken” flavored gravy packet
  • 1/2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 c vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 c minced onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • pinch asafoetida

I have had so. much. pie. this holiday season. It really is kind of ridiculous how pies culminate for an annual winter slaughter of the human diet and pride: pecan, caramel apple cheesecake, plain cheesecake with a mandarin orange pie winning the pie-ze this year for both deliciousness and moxie. After rounding out the last family jaunt yesterday with a pizza, I feel it is safe to start officially distancing myself from rich meals and desserts that do nothing but inadvertently complicate my health and/or well-being.

That being said, I made a pie for dinner tonight. Don’t you judge me.

In the freezer still lived the other half of a crust two-set I’d gotten on sale, canned chicken in the cupboard and cheese in the fridge. Oh, and fresh broccoli; that’s probably the healthiest and therefore most important part of things. Before you get to arranging health around the edge of your pie, start your onion and garlic in butter heating to M. After five or so minutes of making sure everything gets coated and tossed, add the turmeric and asafoetida; stir. While that’s being perpetrated drain and rinse the can of chicken and mix your gravy packet with almond milk. Add eggs to this mixture one at a time and whisk until blended. Return to the stove and stir in 1/3 c of broth and the chicken; toss everything together and spoon into the pie crust. Add the remainder of broth to the egg/gravy mixture. Arrange chunky florets around the edges and secure it all with a pour-over of casserole gravy. Bake in a 375° oven for 45 minutes, remove to sprinkle 1/3 c cheddar over and into the florets and continue baking until a knife comes out of the middle clean. And because I made this earlier today in advance of dinnertime, when I warm it back up at 35o° for 10m I will have sprinkled on another 1/3 c cheddar. This ended up being delicious in flavor, but a little unsatisfactory to me in consistency… then again, the bottom crust I found too soggy was forked off my plate and eaten by my wife. Still, my conscience tells me to go with just 3 spoons on this.

Also, while making that I had also started some cabbage that’s been waiting patiently in the fridge. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it yet — I don’t want to take the easy way out by throwing it into broth and declaring a soup; I’ve got plenty of that in the freezer right now. No, I want this cabbage to go places, travel the world and be better than freezer soup:

  • 1 medium head cabbage
  • 1/2 c onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1-2 c vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1.5 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp hot curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida

cabbageThis one’s easy. Start the mustard seeds out in a ghee-oiled pot heating to M. When it’s near full heat, add the onion and garlic. When the seeds start snapping, add the spices and stir into a pasty mess. Add a dash of broth. Add cabbage in by little handfuls, all the while mixing and adding broth as needed to get everything spiced right proper. Add enough broth to cover the pan bottom, then put a lid on it and dial the heat down to the L side of ML. I cannot yet give this spoons because I do not feel it is yet a finished product. Good luck to my imagination!

 

Today’s Lentils, Tomorrow’s… Lentils.

In my pantry today:

  • 1-2c lentils (cooked)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1 green jalapeno
  • 1 orange jalapeno
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1.5-2c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp safflower oil
  • 1 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp kala jeera
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 2 tsp hot curry powder
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida

This wasn’t going to be a freezer storage item, but life falls as it may and tonight was not its night (and tomorrow’s gonna be the night for what’s in the crock pot overnight now). I’m going to chalk it up to a preliminary success in my desire to have meals prepared ahead of time.

Start not-as-finely-chopped peppers (it is important right away to note that the jalapenos should have no seeds left), onion and garlic out on ML in a ghee/oil combo. Make sure the mustard seeds and kala jeera are in there too. Stir and sit back — when the mustard seeds commence to poppin’ turn off the heat. Spoon contents of the pan into a food processor, add curry powder, asafoetida, flax, tomato paste and 1c almond milk then puree everything into a single, succulent sauce. Spatula it back into the pan, add lentils and however much remaining almond milk you’d like. Heat everything to a near-boil and turn off the stove. When the sauce cools, either eat or freeze! I did taste this before it went on staycation in the icebox and I cannot wait until it gets to come back out — 4 spoons.

 

Sweet — and Savory — Potatoes

 

In my pantry today:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion
  • 1/4 c quinoa
  • 2-2.5 c broth (vegetable here)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable ghee
  • 1/4 c blackberry preserves
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp kala jeera
  • 1 tsp hot curry powder
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon

First thing’s first — slice your onion moderately thinly and start it out in ghee that’s mostly melted and in a pan on M. Cook onions over ML heat for about 5m. Dice your sweet potato — skin and all — and add it into pan. Stir in the remainder of seasonings and preserves then add enough broth to cover everything and bring to a boil. Cover and let cook over ML heat until potatoes are fork-tender. At this point, stir in quinoa and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to L for about 20m. Ring the dinner bell — 4 spoons!

 

Corn Curry Creates Comfortable Contentment

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c chana dal, cooked
  • 1 c kale, de-stemmed
  • 1 c corn
  • 5 vine tomatoes
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp kala jeera
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 2/3 c evaporated milk
  • 1/4 c sour cream
  • 1/3 c plain yogurt
  • 1/4 c ground flax
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 4 tsp hot curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp Greek seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

What’ll be great about this is not worrying about perfect mincing, because everything will be equalized in the food processor halfway through the process. What won’t be great is cleaning the food processor afterwards but at least you’ll get a draw. And that’s something.

Regardless, cut up your onion and garlic enough to transluce-ify in the oil/ghee along with mustard seeds and kala jeera. Leave on ML while you boil water for blanching those tomatoes (if you are unfamiliar with tomato blanching, fear not with these directions.). Once the huge pile of stuff in your pan looks half the man it used to be, add the turmeric (I like doing this because it turns everything bright yellow, and that makes me feel it is better utilized; I claim no scientific knowledge surrounding this.) then the tomatoes. Increase heat to M for 2-3m. Stir, then top the pan contents ever so gracefully with kale, reduce heat to L and cover for 5 minutes or so. This steams the kale just enough to go into the food processor while giving the tomatoes a little time to mingle in the pan.

So the next step is putting everything in the food processor. Add the flax and don’t even worry about pulsing — just turn the sucker on and let it run for a minute or two. Return it back to the pan of its beginnings and add in the evaporated milk and half the seasonings. Bring to a very delicate boil then add in the sour cream, yogurt and remaining spices. Stir in the corn and cooked dal and let everything simmer for 15m or so. Serve over Basmati rice. 5 spoons!

Let’s Rice and Roll!

In my pantry today:

  • 6-8 leaves kale
  • 3/4 c cooked black matpe beans
  • 1/4 c cooked basmati rice
  • 1/2 c ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 c ground golden flax
  • 1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Before v. After Blanching

Ok, this part is actually way more simple than the ingredient list might suggest. Just cream all of it together then set aside while water begins boiling. When the water boils, dip each leaf of kale by the tip of ts stem for a count of ten then transfer to paper towel. Dump the water out of the pot and start your sauce in it:

  • 1/2 medium Vidalia onion
  • 2 medium salt-roasted beets
  • 2 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 8 oz can plain tomato sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp kala jeera
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp hot curry powder
  • 2 tsp madras curry powder

In the pot, burner reduced to ML, insert your ghee and oil and top with mustard seeds, kala jeera, onions and garlic. Stir and let sit on the burner as the temperature drops. This would be a good time to carefully slice the stems out of your kale. Do that then come back, add diced beet and turn the heat back up to M; stir and let cook for about 5 minutes (or until the edges of your garlic slices begin to brown). Mix in a shot of vinegar and reduce heat to ML for another 10-15m.

That presents an excellent opportunity to begin constructing the actual rolls: put a teaspoon full near the base of a leaf, then roll up as tightly as possible without smooshing out the ends like a melty ice cream sandwich. Set each roll, seam side down, aside. Get back to that sauce.

Transfer pot contents to the food processor and puree. Scrape sides and add in almond milk and the remainder of seasonings. When at as fine a consistency as your palette desires, transfer back to the stove and add in tomato sauce. Bring to an easy boil on M then immediately reduce temperature to L. Put a spoonful of sauce in the bottom of a small glass baking dish then put your kale rolls in. Cover and bake at 350° for 20m. Serve, bottom-up from the plate: rice, sauce, rolls, maybe a little more sauce. 5 spoons for the rolls! They retained their crunch even after the oven. The sauce will get 4 spoons, if only because I still have unresolved bigotry issues towards beets.

 

 

Another Fun Sauce Served Over Rice! With Kidney Beans!

  • 1.5 c cooked kidney beans
  • 6 blanched tomatoes
  • 6 oz coconut milk
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 medium Vidalia onion
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp kala jeera
  • 1 tbsp hot curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 sprig basil (optional)

I never mean to start out with a list of ingredients wildly at odds with my socioeconomic standing. There are a lot of staples in the cupboard, and staples for me are the items you’ll see repeated — garlic, onions, curry, hot chili or cayenne pepper, different cooking oils. I find that maintaining a foundation of things like these makes making tasty meals possible on a budget… but it can force me into ruts. You all know I like sauces that go over rice — ah, but I am so much more!

…I say this as I go into another sauce/rice recipe, of course, but my intentions with it are good! I have just learned how to blanch tomatoes and I was hot to do another batch. In familiar tradition, these blanched and diced and drained tomatoes became another sauce. Their journey, however, was a noble one.

After blanching, dicing and draining off the more watery tomato juice, add your tomatoes (about 3c diced) to a pan that’s had garlic, onion, mustard seeds and kala jeera simmering in its oil foundation on [heat to M then reduce to ML after 5m] for a good 20-30m. Add remaining seasonings and stir, let come to a boil on M and keep it in ML-M uncovered for an hour or so — until everything has thickened. Remove from heat and let cool a little before pouring into the food processor. Pulse until smooth then return to the pan, this time with a little coconut milk and lime juice. Mix everything together well as you fold in the beans, then top with a sprig of basil and cover. Turn heat back to M and let it steam for just a minute or two before serving over Basmati rice. 4 spoons!

Shakarkand Curry (or “A Shakarkand a Priest Walk Into a Bar…”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1.5 c lentils
  • 1 large sweet potato, baked
  • 1 medium Vidalia onion
  • 1 14.5 oz can [chicken or vegetable] broth
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp safflower oil
  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp cashew butter
  • 1 tbsp ground brown flax
  • 2 tsp yellow curry
  • 1 tsp hot curry powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida

So I’ve been roasting sweet potatoes at will lately — I hate that I’m inspired by anything a fast food chain does, but I can’t help but be by the sweet buttery spread that accompanies one of these “Signature Sides” from Wendy’s®. I’ve duplicated — nay, improved upon — their formula and that recipe is forthcoming. But back to the copious number of baked sweet potatoes in my refrigerator.

This one is gonna be a not-sinful-dessert-or-sometimes-meal option. It’ll be a curry! We’re gonna take the soft already-baked pulp out of the skin and set it aside. Start your minced onion and garlic in your oils warming to M. When full heat is reached, reduce to ML and let them cook until the onions become translucent. At that point, add your sweet potato and mash it into the pan. Add seasonings and flax and continue mashing. Once you feel good and smash-happy, add the broth slowly and dial it back to a more gentle pulverization. Once it’s a happy family, let simmer on M for just a minute then slowly stir in your lentils. Let the whole mess simmer together for 15-45m before serving over Basmati rice. 5 spoons!

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