Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The Easiest Vegetable Curry

Yo!

So as you guys know, I just moved to Austin last week to go to the Natural Epicurean cooking school.  I'll talk more about that on Friday, but today I wanted to talk about one of my biggest challenges thus far - cooking with a severely limited pantry.

Since I'm without a car, grocery trips need to be short lest I break my back, which means that I've done a couple small produce runs and a pantry staple trip.  I have basics like olive oil, salt and pepper, and some veggies (mainly hearty ones), but not much else.  Because of that, I've been trying to come up with creative ways to use my limited amounts of food.

In my opinion, nothing is easier than curry.  You take some random veggies, cook 'em with aromatics and curry powder, and you've got a warming, flavorful meal with minimal ingredients.  I know the ingredient list doesn't look very minimal, but that's just because it's got a lot of different veggies (like onions, carrot, cabbage, etc).

You can get really fancy with curry by toasting spices and making your own blends, but I kept this as simple as possible due to necessity.  Feel free to swap out some of the veggies for what you've got around, but do try to keep the onion/garlic/ginger thing happening, since they contribute lots of flavor.  And beans, no matter which kind you use, add a nice boost of protein.


Serve with brown rice and a few fun toppings for a complete, hearty and healthy meal.

The Easiest Vegetable Curry
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch ginger, grated or minced
1 generous teaspoon good-quality curry powder
4 cups vegetable broth
1 large carrot, chopped
2 cups shredded green cabbage
2 small yams, peeled and chopped (about 1 1/2 cups - potatoes and winter squash work well too)
2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas
Salt and pepper, to taste

For serving (use any or all):

Cooked brown rice
Sliced avocado
Fresh diced tomato
Cilantro
Hot sauce (like Sriracha)
Chutney (mango chutney would be awesome)

Directions:

1.  In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute until softened, about five minutes.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook a couple more minutes.  Stir in the curry powder for about a minute, and then add the vegetable broth.  Crank up the heat to high and add the carrot, cabbage, yam and chickpeas.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until everything is fully cooked, about 30 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

2.  Add a small serving of rice into a large soup bowl, and ladle in as much curry as you want.  Top with any of the serving goodies like avocado, cilantro and hot sauce.  Enjoy!


After spending a day in the kitchen, it's nice to come home and throw together a big pot of goodness without too much effort.  Making a vegetable curry and rice takes time, but the majority of that is hands-off time where you can study or send emails or investigate Pinterest.

School and hanging out with Michael via Skype has been taking up most of my time this week, so I apologize if I've been quiet in the blog world - I'm still reading what you guys are up to, but I haven't quite settled in a rhythm yet.  Take care, and I'll catch up with y'all on Friday!

9 comments:

  1. Your presentation is always so pretty! That looks great :-)

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  2. This sounds like a learning experience in itself, even without going to school: how to not buy too many ingredients and to use up lots of pantry stuff! I love that kind of cooking and you are way more inventive with it than I would be.

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    1. Ha ha ha, I don't feel very inventive about it! And yeah, it's a huge challenge!

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  3. Looks like you are doing a really great job of creating some delicious meals with your limited pantry. Your bowl looks lovely. I'm sure you'll settle into your new routine soon, no need to apologize! Just enjoy the experience!

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    1. Thanks so much, Sarah - and I'll do my best to have tons of fun. :)

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  4. Hope all's going well in Austin - looking forward to hearing more about what you're cooking up at school. Having no spices and flavourings in the kitchen is a killer - you can make even the dullest veggies into superstars with a bit of spice I reckon. One of the many joys of curry, I reckon! Have you got any soy sauce in yet? You could turn it into Japanese curry tomorrow - two dishes for the price of one!

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    1. Ha ha, I did just pick up some soy sauce but now the curry is gone! And yeah, huge benefit of curry indeed. :)

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  5. This looks lovely, particularly on low pantry ingredients :) I hope your new job is going well!

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