Saturday, January 25, 2014

Weekend Cooking...a little curry dish.

I listened to my daughter and her friend swoon about the chicken curry at our local Indian restaurant and ever since then I've had a craving for curry.  Naturally I wanted to make my own though so I pulled out Six Spices; A simple concept of Indian cooking by Neeta Saluja.  My stepbrother Sean recommended this book to me as we both love Indian food and the author is his ex-girlfriend yet-still-friend's mother~always nice to have a family connection!

I pulled the book out to see what type of curry recipe I could make with what I already had at home and decided the mixed vegetable curry would be perfect on this very chilly early evening.  I had 90% of the ingredients and would have to make due and my husband was impressed as he walked through the door an hour later as I was elbow-deep in spices.

Mixed-Vegetable Curry
{Rase wali Mili-Juli Subji}


6 cups assorted vegetables (carrots, cauliflower, turnips, potatoes, or peas
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1 tsp ginger, chopped
1/4 tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
7 T cooking oil, divided
6 T + 2 cups water
1 large tomato, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped


1. Peel and cut all the vegetables into somewhat large size pieces.
2. Place onions, garlic, and ginger in a blender.  Add a small amount of water and run blender intermittently until it makes a smooth paste.
3. Add chili, turmeric, and coriander powders.  Run blender again to mix the spices into the paste.
4. In a medium saucepan, heat 4 T cooking oil on medium high heat.  When oil is hot, add the onion mixture.  Cover pan to avoid spattering.
5. Reduce heat to medium.  Stir mixture continuously to avoid burning and scorching.  Add 6 T of water, one tablespoon at a time, to prevent burning.  Cook until most of the moisture evaporates.  At this time the oil will separate from the onion paste, and the raw smell of onion and spices will change to a more roasted and flavorful smell.
6. Add tomatoes and a little of of the salt.  Cover the pan.  Cook, stirring the mixture occasionally, until mixture forms a smooth paste and oil is separated.  
7. Heat remaining oil in  a large skillet.  When hot, add cumin seeds.  Stir in all chopped vegetables and fry for 6-8 minutes.
8. Add fried vegetables, and the rest of the salt to masala (curry paste).  Stir the  mixture.
9. Stir in 2 cups of water and let the vegetables simmer on medium heat until potatoes are cooked.
10. Garnish curry with cilantro and serve hot.  

After the holidays I haven't felt much like whipping up multi-step recipes as I think I wore myself out cooking (joyously) for the two older kids and other friends and family.  This recipe brought me back to life.

The two substitutions I had to make; I did not have nor do I usually buy tomatoes in the winter so I used a little canned tomato juice from my pantry, which has tomatoes from my mom's garden plus I somehow ran out of cumin seeds over the holidays and forgot to replace them so I added the veggies (potatoes, carrots, and peas) to the oil and then I added some garam marsala just to add something to the potatoes as they cooked.

I love everything about cumin so was sad not to have that smell and flavor.  I would absolutely make this dish again and I will try more from this book.  I get so used to "googling" for a recipe or searching Pinterest yet often what I need lies right in my own cabinet.  Yep.

This post is linked to Beth Fish Reads weekly cooking meme, Weekend Cooking, where many other foodies talk about food.  Click her link to find out what everyone's talking about today.


(Diane) bookchickdi said...

My son would love this- thanks for sharing.

Beth F said...

Isn't curry perfect for this weather? This sounds awesome.

Sarah (Sarah's Book Shelves) said...

This sounds delicious - we went to our local Indian restaurant for the first time last weekend and it was fantastic - has had me craving Indian flavors ever since. Too bad about the cumin - I love that smoky flavor also!

jama said...

Yum, I love curries, and this sounds like a nice recipe to try. Thanks! :)

Tina said...

Probably too spicy for my tender tummy but I agree, in this weather a warming dish is perfect.