I didn’t grow up eating curries. Anyone who knows my childhood would laugh at that – Dad was a meat and potatoes man. Mom, though was a good and more adventurous cook. I was looking through her hand-written recipes today and thought about how she would enjoy the vastness that is the internet recipe box, and the fabulous choice of foods that I have available to me, even at my local supermarket in a small city.
I don’t remember where or when I first tasted curry powder but I remember my reaction. It was sweet and spicy and completely outside my experience. I am not sure that I loved it then but I do now. Ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander and mustard seeds, turmeric, fenugreek and a new favourite, asafoetida. So many exotic flavours.
This is a cauliflower and eggplant curry with red and brown lentils, with swiss chard added at the end. The rice is Spicy Indian Rice with Toasted Almonds from Vegan With a Vengeance.
The curry recipe is a melange. I like the Vegan With a Vengeance Chickpea and Spinach Curry spice blend but I wanted to have cauliflower, eggplant and lentils. So I started with heating 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat, added 1 tsp of yellow and 1 tsp of brown mustard seeds and let them pop for about a minute. Then I added some chopped onion. Once the onion was soft I stirred in 4 crushed cloves of garlic and 2 tbsp grated ginger and then added the spice blend:
- 3 tsp curry powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp asafoetida
- 3 cardamon pods
- 1 tsp salt
I also used a full 800 ml can of tomatoes, squished into small pieces and about the same amount of water.
There are, I am sure, people who would be much more fussy about their preparation but I find that curries are one thing that have so many levels of taste going on, as long as you don’t over cook the vegetables or add too much salt they almost always turn out delicious.