The other day, I pulled open my vegetable drawers and saw: two bags of greens, half an onion, garlic, a pile of sweet peppers, cilantro, basil, some sweet potatoes, a couple of eggplants, carrots, green beans and okra. Only one word came to mind: curry!
I had an hour until dinner, so I got right to work. First, I pulled a container of chick peas from the freezer. I chopped the onion and garlic and began sauteing them in olive oil in a big pot. I started some water boiling for brown rice and turned the oven on to 350 degrees.
While the garlic and onion sizzled away, I chopped the okra into 1/4 inch rounds, tossed it with olive oil, minced garlic, and a light mixture of corn meal, onion powder, salt and pepper. I put the okra into a 9″ x 13″ pan and set it in the oven for 45 minutes.
Next, I went to my cupboard and got a can of coconut milk and one of tomatoes. I cut the carrots, green beans and sweet potatoes into bite-sized pieces and added them to the curry pot. I added the coconut milk, tomatoes and two cups of veggie broth.
I started rinsing and chopping the greens. First, I removed the stems, chopped them and threw them into the curry pot. Then I stacked the greens on the cutting board and sliced them into thin strips about 2 inches long and put them aside.
When the curry came to a boil, I added the peppers (in big pieces) and the chick peas and turned the pot down to simmer. Then I added one tablespoon each of curry powder, cumin and cinnamon and some salt and cayenne. I checked the okra and flipped it with a spatula.
As soon as the carrots and potatoes were fork tender, I turned off the heat, added 1/2 a cup of peanut butter, adjusted the seasoning and stirred in the greens. I sliced the basil and cilantro into thin strips to use as garnish. By now the the rice was done, so I opened a can of sweet peaches that we’d put up in July, pulled the crispy roasted okra from the oven and got out the peanuts.
Then we sat down to one of our favorite meals. We scooped some rice into a bowl, sprinkled it with basil and cilantro, ladled thick, rich curry on top and garnished with okra, peaches and peanuts.
Curry is the perfect fall meal! It feeds a lot of people so we trotted the leftovers out for a potluck later in the week. And it freezes very well for those times when we don’t have a potluck lined up.
When you find yourself with a mish mash of fresh vegetables, don’t worry – just make curry!
Here’s a recipe for a delicious fall curry, but you can substitute a lot of veggies and other ingredients, depending on what’s in your fridge:
- 1 large Onion, half diced and the other half cut into thick wedges
- 4 large cloves Garlic
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 28-ounce can Diced Tomatoes
- 2 cups Vegetable Broth
- 1 14-ounce can Coconut Milk
- ½ head Cauliflower, in florets
- 2 Carrots, sliced
- Garbanzo Beans, 2 cups, cooked
- Potatoes, in cubes
- Curry Powder, 1 tablespoon
- Cumin, 1 tablespoon
- Cinnamon, 1 tablespoon
- Salt, to taste
- Cayenne, to taste
- Peanut Butter, ½ cup
- Greens, 2 cups (Chard, Green Beans, Spinach, or other)
- Rice, 4 cups cooked
- Garnishes: peanuts or other nuts, coconut, mango chutney, papaya, fruit salsa, raisins
- In a large pot, sauté the diced onion and garlic in olive oil.
- Add the tomatoes, vegetable broth, coconut milk and cauliflower.
- Bring to a boil, and add the carrots and garbanzo beans.
- Simmer for 10 minutes, then add the onion wedges, potatoes and spices.
- To Finish: simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked. Add peanut butter and greens.
- Serve over rice with garnishes.
- SUBSTITUTIONS: Mirin, beer or wine for part of the vegetable broth; any kind of bean for the garbanzos; other hard vegetables for the carrots and cauliflower.