Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Indian-Style Curry with Potatoes, Cauliflower, Peas and Chickpeas with Basmati Rice Pilaf

This is kind of a take on Aloo Gobi but with peas and chickpeas added. It's from Cook's Illustrated so it's kind of Americanized and is not the most traditional recipe (it's not cooked the same way) but the flavors all work and it ends up being an easy, satisfying weeknight meal.

There isn't any meat in this but you don't miss it at all on account of all of the veggies.

Indian-Style Curry With Potatoes, Cauliflower, Peas and Chickpeas with Basmati Rice Pilaf
(from here and here)

2 tablespoons curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1/4 cup vegetable oil (or ghee), divided
2 medium onions, chopped fine (about 2 cups)
12 ounces waxy potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
3 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 serrano chile, ribs, seeds, and flesh minced (optional, can sub jalapeño, or de-seed or not use at all)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 pound bag frozen cauliflower
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 1/4 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock if you prefer) Can sub water for this step
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
8 ounces frozen peas (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Basmati Rice Pilaf

1 tablespoon vegetable oil or ghee
1 shallot, diced
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup basmati rice
1 teaspoon salt
1½ cups of water or vegetable (or chicken) broth
Small pat of butter (optional)

==

Begin by prepping your potatoes. 

I used 5. 


Toss in your ghee or butter or oil or whatever into a pot over medium heat. I like a combination of ghee and coconut oil for most my Indian dishes.


Add the potatoes to the pot.


Go ahead and add the onions.

Season with a bit of salt and pepper.


Give them a stir and let them cook for about 10 minutes or until the onions and potatoes start to soften.


This recipe calls to toast your spices. I can't say that it had a big effect on the end result, but I did it anyway. This part is optional.

I use this curry powder. It's great.
Toast 2 tablespoons curry powder and 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala in a pan over medium heat.


Cook until fragrant but not burned about 3-5 minutes.

Don't walk away from the stove and stir almost constantly.


Set aside for now.


When your 10 minutes is up add in a tablespoon each of ginger, garlic and tomato paste.

This is where you'd add the chile pepper but I didn't have any. I do usually use a seeded jalapeño for most of my Indian dishes. It adds good flavor and doesn't end up being too hot for the kids if you remove the seeds. 


Stir well to combine, then add the toasted spices.


Stir well and cook for about 2 minutes.


Add in the cauliflower. You don't have to thaw it.


Again, stir well to combine.

Try not to break up the potatoes but it's not that big of a deal if you do.


Finally, add 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) crushed tomatoes, 1 1/4 cups vegetable stock, and 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas. Season with a bit of salt.


Stir well to combine.


Cover and bring to a simmer.

Cook for 10-15 minutes or until all of the veggies/chickpeas are nice and tender.

You can simmer this longer if you want, just be aware that the potatoes will start to break down the longer it cooks. I actually kind of like it like that, with the potatoes kind of forming the body of the curry, but it's up to you.


==

Meanwhile, start the rice.

To a small sauce pan add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or ghee over medium heat and wait for it to come up to temp.

Add your diced shallot and
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Cook for about 5 minutes until the shallot breaks down considerably.


Add the cup of basmati rice and 1 teaspoon salt.

Stir well to coat the rice in the fat for about a minute.


Add 1½ cups of water or vegetable (or chicken) broth.

Bring to a boil.


Cover and reduce heat to low.

Cook for 15 minutes.


After 15 minutes, kill the heat and let sit for 10 additional minutes. Don't open the lid.


==

Now we can finish the curry.

Give everything a good stir.


Add the 8 ounces frozen peas (about 1 1/2 cups) and 1/4 cup coconut milk.


Cook for 3-5 minutes or until everything is heated through and the sauce is as thick as you like it. Taste for salt and pepper. 


==

After the 10 minutes is up for the rice, unlid and fluff. You can stir in a small pat of butter here. I did.



Serve with naan or paratha or what-have-you.

Overall this was a nice dinner. The rice was an interesting change from the normal basmati you'd normally serve and not that much extra work. The spices really worked with the fragrance of the rice and complimented the curry well.

I liked that there was so many veggies in this curry. The different textures and flavors were very satisfying. The kids also liked that the veggies were finger sized and enjoyed the meal.

Give this a try if you have a hankering for Indian and have some veggies you need to use.


Enjoy!

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