Indian Style Vegetable Curry

This dish is a warming, comforting, mid-winter superstar that yields a satisfying and delicious meal with minimal effort. The spices are easy to obtain, ambrosial, and add an exotic depth of flavor. The vegetables are full of nutrients and fiber and the coconut milk imparts a silken texture without the addition of dairy.

The most time-consuming part of preparing this curry is ingredient prep time. Once the prep is completed, the cooking method is a cinch.

While this recipe does not require overly complicated knife skills, I will tell you, “mise en place” is your best friend.

What is “mise en place,” you say?

Mise en place is the (French) culinary term for “everything in its place”. This means before you start the cooking process, prep all ingredients and tools.

Ingredients should be peeled, sliced, grated, squeezed, chopped, etc., according to the recipe directions. All necessary bowls, pots, pans, knives, measuring spoons, etc., should be set out and at the ready for immediate use.

This may seem like a pain in the you know what, but I promise you, it makes the whole process so much easier and ensures you don’t miss a beat.

While professional chefs wield a variety of individual techniques to get to their desired outcome, mise en place is one technique they all agree on!

If you’ve not gotten into the habit of doing mise en place before cooking, now is the time to up your game and get into the habit. This Indian Style Vegetable Curry is the perfect place to start!

To help you in this endeavor, I have grouped ingredients that will be used together in the same step. I promise this recipe is so much easier than it appears at first glance.

I hope you enjoy!

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Indian Style Vegetable Curry


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  • Author: Asha
  • Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 23 tablespoons, Sunflower, Canola or Avocado Oil
  • 1 large, Yellow Onion, medium diced/ chopped
  • In a small bowl combine:
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons, Ground Coriander
    • 2 teaspoons, Ground Cumin
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons, Ground Turmeric
    • 1/2 teaspoons, Ground Cayenne
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons, Ground Sea Salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon, Ground Black Pepper
  • In a small bowl combine:
    • 5 medium, Cloves of Garlic, minced
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons, Grated Fresh Ginger
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons, Tomato Paste
  • In a medium bowl combine:
    • 2 cups, Chicken or Vegetable Broth
    • 115oz can, Coconut Milk (use light coconut milk if you want to cut down on saturated fat)
    • 2 Sticks, Cinnamon
  • In a large bowl combine:
    • 1 small, Cauliflower, broken or cut into 1 1/2 inch florets (approx. 4 cups)
    • 1-pound, Sweet Potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces (approx. 3cups)
    • 2 medium, Tomatoes, cored, seeded, and chopped into medium chunks
    • 2 large, Carrots, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 115oz can of Chickpeas
  • Zest of 1 Lime (approx. 1 teaspoon)
  • Juice of 12 Limes (approx. 2 tablespoons)
  • 34 cups, Baby Spinach, lightly packed
  • 23 tablespoons, Fresh Cilantro, rough chopped

****Optional: If you want to serve your curry alongside rice, you’ll need:

  • Desired amount, Basmati Rice (1 cup rice to every 1 1/2 cups water)
  • 2, Green Cardamon Pods, pierced (for every 1 cup of dried rice)
  • 2, Whole Star Anise (for every 1 cup of dried rice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon, Sea Salt

Instructions

  1. In a large heavy bottom pot, set over medium heat, add the oil. Allow the oil to warm through, then add the onions. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they become translucent.
  2. Once the onions have become translucent, turn the heat to medium/ low and continue cooking the onions until they take on a golden-brown color (approx. 5 minutes). Be sure not to burn the onions at this stage.
  3. With the heat still on medium/ low, add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 30- 45 seconds just until the spices begin to bloom and become fragrant.
  4. Add the tomato paste, garlic, and ginger. Stir and cook until well combined with the spice mixture and fragrant (approx. 30 seconds). Be sure not to dry cook the garlic for to long or it will burn and take on an acrid flavor.
  5. As soon as the garlic becomes fragrant, add the stock, coconut milk and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil over medium/ high heat. Once it reaches a boil turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered.
  6. Add the cauliflower, sweet potato, tomato, and carrots. Raise the heat to high. Stir occasionally just to be sure none of the vegetables stick to the bottom of the pot and scorch. Once the curry begins to boil, turn the heat back down to low, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables become tender but toothsome. 
  7. Discard the cinnamon sticks and stir in the lime zest, juice and the chickpeas. Continue to simmer, uncovered for another 3-5 minutes.
  8. Just before serving, add the spinach. Cook until the spinach starts to wilt. Taste the curry and add additional seasonings as if needed (salt for savory quality, lime juice for more acidity or cayenne for more heat).
  9. Served garnished with cilantro and a side of seasoned rice (optional).

**** Seasoned Rice (optional)

  1. Basmati is the most appropriate rice for this dish. Decide how much rice you would like to make. A good proportion of rice to water is 1 cup of rice to every 1 ½ cups of cold water. Multiple this ratio for a larger serving.
  2. Run the dried rice under cool water until the water runs clear. This helps to get rid of starches that make the rice gummy instead of fluffy.
  3. Once the rice is rinsed, combine with cold water, star anise, cardamon and salt, in a medium/ small, heavy bottom pot.
  4. Cover with a lid and bring to a boil over medium/ high heat. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low and continue to cook, covered for 8-10 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the pot form the heating element and allow to continue to steam for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  5. Once fully cooked, remove the lid, discard the star anise and cardamon, fluff with a fork and serve alongside your curry.

Notes

  • Make the rice either whilst making the curry or, once you’ve fully made the curry, set it aside, cover to keep warm while you make the rice.
  • Use the freshest ingredients possible. Don’t use old spices or the flavor will be paltry.
  • his recipe is fully vegan if you opt to use vegetable broth instead of the chicken broth.
  • This recipe was inspired in part by Fine Cooking Magazine.

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