I am currently engaged in an ongoing campaign to convince my family that they like the flavors of Indian food. My meals generally reflect the same 4 spice jars by my stove; thyme, garlic powder, paprika and pepper, which make their way into every soup, braise and roasted poultry I touch. My family doesn't complain, but I grow bored. There is something so exciting about crunching into a piece of ginger soaked in turmeric, with the warming touch of cinnamon. I like the subtle spice of curry, and the brilliance of cooling the palate with yogurt and cucumber. Who on the planet could turn down steaming garlic naan? But most of all, I love how most Indian dishes require a huge pot, a low simmer, and are ladled on top of rice and make for excellent leftovers. Swoon.
This recipe was thrown together at 5pm and on the table by 6. My friend had just walked in the door as I was pulling out my pot, so we poured some wine, pulled up a recipe online and proceeded to totally deviate from it.
We went gaga for what we came up with. I hope you love it!
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
4 cloves fresh garlic, crushed and chopped
2 inch nub of ginger, peeled, sliced and thinly diced
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 can coconut milk
2 teaspoons cumin
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons curry
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1-2 teaspoons salt
Roasted baby potatoes, quartered
Roasted cauliflower or broccoli chopped into bite sized pieces
Roasted butternut squash or 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 bag of jumbo shrimp
Chopped fresh cilantro and fresh basil for topping
2 cups Basmati or jasmine rice
1. Roast your Vegetables. Turn on the oven to 350. Peel and chop your potatoes, cauliflower and squash. Toss them in some avocado oil and spread thin (don't over-crowd) onto a cookie sheet (or two) and let them roast in the oven for about 40 minutes-until the cauliflower and squash has some golden brown, and the potatoes are cooked.
2. In a large cast iron enameled pot, add oil and onions, and saute until they are translucent, about 5 minutes. While the onions are cooking, get out a small bowl and measure out the spices. Add the chopped garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the ginger, and all the spices. (Be careful not to allow the spices to sit on the direct heat for too long as the paprika can burn and become bitter.) Add the can of diced tomatoes and the can of coconut milk and stir. Bring to a boil, turn the heat to low and cover and allow to simmer for 20 minutes for the flavors to deepen.
3. Make your rice according to package instructions.
4. Taste the curry and see if it needs more salt. Add your roasted veggies and stir.
5. Serve over rice, topped with cilantro and basil.
The outcome of my ongoing curry campaign was that this meal was a hit.
I was given permission to continue my wild pursuits "as long as I don't over-do it,"
according to my husband, and "make this a once-and-a-while dish."
Listen folks, that is a victory, from the people who previously swore they don't like this stuff...and I'll take it. And all the leftovers too, thankyouverymuch!