The Art of Curry

Curry: a vegetable dish cooked in an Indian-style sauce of strong spices and turmeric and typically served with rice.

A couple years ago, my friend Salomi, gave me curry lessons.  Her family moved to the US from India when she was a child and the tradition of curry runs deep in her veins.  I learned from her that there is no one way to cook a particular curry.  Recipes don’t really do justice to the art of curry making.  This is why I have never posted a curry recipe on my blog–I don’t have one.  I work with the spices, coconut milk and veggies until I get it just the way I like it.  I make a big pot of curry once a month or so and we eat it for the good part of a week.  Its so warming and healing.  The spices in curry work to fight inflammation in the body and boost the immune system. A great fall and winter food to keep you warm and healthy.

In this post, I am going to try to break down my curry dance.  None of these ingredients are set in stone.  I usually start with cumin seeds but I was out and didn’t want to make a special trip to the store so I played with different options.  You should too!  Start slowly with the spices and gradually add more to taste!  All the spices are “to taste”.   I like mine a bit spicer than my family so I hold the chili powder and just sprinkle it on my serving. And if you’re at a loss, shoot me a message and I’d be happy to have you over for some curry making fun.

This recipe makes a big pot.  We eat it each night with alternating grains and a salad.  We’ll probably start with amaranth tonight and work our way through brown rice, quinoa, millet, and maybe even teff this week!

Ingredients: 

  • 1/2 inch chunk of fresh turmeric, minced
  • 1/2 inch church of fresh ginger, minced
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • mustard seed
  • coriander
  • cumin
  • turmeric powered
  • salt
  • peppers
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 2-3 cups chopped brussels sprouts
  • 2 cups peas
  • 3 cups cooked chickpeas (2-3 cans)
  • 1 roasted butternut, pumpkin or squash of your choosing
  • 3 cans coconut milk
  • 3 cans diced tomatoes or 4-5 cups chopped fresh if in season
  • 3 curry leaves
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

Instructions:

IMG_1606

  1. Pour a little coconut milk in the pot and bring up to a simmer.
  2. This is normally when I would add the cumin seeds and roast them a bit but this time I used mustard seeds
  3. After a minute or so of stirring the seeds in the coconut milk, add in fresh turmeric, ginger and garlic.IMG_1602
  4. Let these simmer for a couple minutes, stirring constantly and adding a little more coconut milk if needed
  5. Add in the diced onion, continuing to stir.  Cook until the onion becomes translucent.  At the same time, begin sprinkling in the other spices. The Turmeric powder will give your curry a pretty yellow color.  Taste, stir, sprinkle.IMG_1603
  6. Add in the sweet potato and brussels sprouts, continuing to stir until sweet potatoes soften
  7. Add tomatoes, coconut milk, peas, butternut, coconut shreds and curry leaves and bring to a simmer.
  8. Stir in those chickpeas!
  9. Simmer as long as you’d like. This gets better with time.  I transfer mine to our crockpot and keep it on warm until we eat it all up!

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