Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Indian Vegetable Curry

I made this vegetable curry for dinner on New Year's Day as I thought it would be a nice healthy start to the year (and I was cooking for my boyfriend's mum, who is vegetarian). The recipe comes from a book I picked up in the charity shop called The Creative Vegetarian Cookbook. I was surprised that the title was so generic, as curries are so popular these days they are always named after the region or have a proper name like bhuna, tikka masala etc, rather than just "Indian curry". I didn't think the book was that old even when I saw the publication date was 1996, until I remembered I was still at school that year and it was 18 years ago! So maybe the name can be excused.... in any case it was a very tasty dish. I haven't come across the use of milk in a curry before either - these days you are much more likely to see coconut milk, but if you use skimmed milk instead of coconut milk it's a good way of reducing the fat in a curry.

To serve 4, you need:

2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp mustard seeds

4 tsp coriander seeds

1/2 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp grated ginger

1 tsp black peppercorns

1 onion, finely choppped

half a pint of milk

oil for frying

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

400g tin of tomatoes

1 tbsp tomato puree

2 tsp brown sugar

1 vegetable stock cube dissolved in a little boiling water

vegetables: the suggestions in the recipe book were mushrooms, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes and okra, but I used cauliflower, butternut squash, red pepper and green beans.

2 tbsp fat free plain yogurt (not in the recipe; my own addition)

The recipe actually begins by telling you to grind the spices together to make a powder but since I didn't have cumin, mustard or coriander seeds I just used the ground spices in the first place. Fry the chopped onions in a large pan, add the spices, ginger and peppercorns and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring.

Add the milk and vinegar - the vinegar will make the milk look like it's split but the curry turned out fine.

Add tomatoes, tomato puree, sugar and stock. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for up to one hour - though I thought mine was thick enough after half an hour.

I par-boiled my butternut squash chunks and cauliflower florets and added them along with green beans and red pepper to the curry.

Simmer until the vegetables are cooked and thoroughly combined with the sauce.

I added a couple of tablespoons of low fat plain yogurt to make the curry creamier just before serving.

I served the curry in a large glass bowl so my guests could help themselves; I also had bowls of rice, naan bread and poppadoms on the table. It was a real Indian feast!

I'm sending this to the One Ingredient Challenge, hosted by Nazima at Franglais Kitchen, and Laura at How To Cook Good Food, as the theme for January is "healthy".

Similarly the theme for Four Seasons Food this month is "virtuous". The challenge is hosted by Louisa at Eat Your Veg and Anneli at Delicieux.

I am also sending this to Simply Food's Let's Cook... with green vegetables as there are green beans in this curry, you could also add broccoli or any other green veg.

Helen at Fuss Free Flavours is challenging us this month to include an extra portion of veg. This vegetable curry gives you several of your five a day, but if it's something you already make, how about adding one extra type of veg to normal?


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