Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Feast Your Nose On This: A Curry Dinner

Mmmm. You're either a curry person or you're dumb not. Here is a three recipe feast for those of you in my pro-curry camp, adapted from Atlas' and Kayte's Vegetarian Express:

Fruit & Spice Pilaf

  • 1 cup raw quinoa (the original recipe called for couscous. My instructions below are for quinoa)
  • 2 Tbls butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 apples, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped mixed dried fruits (I used raisins)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/3 cup toasted sliced or slivered almonds (I used walnuts)

  1. Rinse the quinoa and combine it with 2 cups water. Bring to boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes on medium or until water is absorbed, cover and let sit for five minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  2. As the quinoa cooks, melt the butter in a skillet on medium heat. Add the onion and saute until translucent.
  3. Add the diced apple into the onion saute, cover, and let cook for another 3-5 minutes or until the apple has softened. Stir the dried fruit into the apple-onion mixture.
  4. Add the cooked quinoa to the skillet. Pour 1/2 cup water into the skillet and sprinkle in the spices. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes, until everything is well-mixed and heated through.
  5. Salt to taste. Add the nuts. Serve. (Alternative:  set the toasted nuts aside in a serving dish and let people sprinkle on their own, to taste.)

Creamed Curried Vegetables
  • 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cut into large dice
  • 3 cups cut broccoli florets (save the stalks for another recipe)
  • 1 cup peas
  • 2 Tbls flour
  • 3/4 cup whole milk or whole plain yogurt
  • 1-2 tsp curry powder, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1-2 Tbls minced jalapeno pepper, optional
  1. Place the carrots and potatoes in a large saucepan with enough water to cover all but an inch of their volume. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until nearly tender, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the broccoli and peas. Cover and cook another 5 minutes or so, until broccoli is tender-crisp. 
  3. As the broccoli & peas cook, dissolve the flour in the milk (or mix into the yogurt) and then stir in the curry powder. Add the mixture to the vegetables, followed by the jalapeno (if using). 
  4. Cook, uncovered, another 2-3 minutes until the liquid has thickened. Season to taste with salt.  

Cucumber Raita
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, quartered, and diced
  • 1 cup whole plain yogurt
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • Fresh dill weed, optional
  1. If cucumber seeds are large and watery, remove before dicing the cucumber (if small, leave them in). 
  2. Combine the cucumber and yogurt in a serving dish and mix thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper (and dill, if using).

Why I love this dinner: The vegetable curry has a snappy zip to it. The simple raita is cool and refreshing. The pilaf is sweet and simple. It's a great combination of flavors to have on one plate. If you're a lover of curry (or suspect you might be) I encourage you to recreate this meal in your own kitchen. It's a great way to warm up as this autumn weather gains hold over summer's warmth, and it's surprisingly quick to make.

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