Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Indian-Style Vegetable Curry 5/5 Spoons

I don't want to toot my own horn too excessively BUT I think I'm a pretty great cook and baker. All of these things rolled into one? I'm a total catch. Anyhow, I know my stuff (for the most part) but I still really suck at cooking rice. Sometimes it is average but the rest of the time, it comes out either too dry or too wet and gooey. If anyone can give me a foolproof way to cook rice (jasmine and standard white long grain) on a stove top, I will like give you a thousand kisses.

(You have to deal with my phone pics!)

Since I'm unemployed, I have an awful lot of time to watch America's Test Kitchen (between looking for work and talking to my temp rep like every day). This is really one of the best cooking shows on television. I used to be really into Food Network and now I find most of it to be a joke. I love cooking shows that make simple food that is often easily messed up on a daily basis. They show you the science of why certain things work and other things don't. I secretly love how snobby they are about food because I'm that way too. I tend to keep it to myself as to still have friends and family who love me. It's hard but I can manage, haha. Anyhow, the only fault I have with ATK is that they almost never make vegetarian dishes, let alone totally vegan ones. I was thrilled when they made this because I've had a string of bad curry recipes going through my kitchens in the last year. The one thing that was missing in this recipe that really attracted me was sesame oil. I've mentioned before my distaste of sesame oil so I thought I'd give this a try and it was a serious success. Here are my notes:

-- I used one onion but it ended up being 2 cups, go figure. I was kind of careful about measuring because I wanted this to turn out perfect.
-- As usual, I used dried ginger instead of fresh.
-- Since I like it spicy, I left the seeds and ribs in the pepper. If you aren't a hot person, I would say get rid of it. Serranos pack a punch.
-- I'm pretty careful about my sodium intake (among other things) just because I know it's not good for me. I had no idea there were so many sodium-free options out there. The tomato paste and diced tomatoes were both totally void of salt. I love being able to put my own amount of salt and feel good about it.
-- Because I wanted to make this totally vegan, I used coconut milk instead of cream.
-- I didn't have any condiments around to top the curry but I think cilantro would be dynamite sprinkled on top.

This is so spicy, warming and full of delicious, healthy vegetables. And since we have air conditioning, I can enjoy chili and curry even when it is 90 degrees outside. Sorry to rub it in! This all came together fairly fast (45 minutes) and is super healthy. I think this is a do-able weeknight dinner that makes a lot of food at a pretty damn cheap price. If you don't have A/C, I would bookmark this and save it for October. It's worth waiting for.

1 comment:

  1. Do you have a copy of Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything? (There's a veg version too.) Virtually anything you need to know about anything is in there. An ex-roommate had a copy and I miss it so much, haha.

    Whenever I cook rice, I use 2:1 water:rice ratio, put salt or bouillon (THIS is a godsend: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/homemade-bouillon-recipe.html) and a tablespoon or so of oil or butter in the water, cover the pot, bring the water to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer. Cooking time depends on the type of rice; brown rice takes almost twice as long as white or jasmine. You'd probably need 8-11 minutes for white rice. I'm paranoid and probably check on my rice too much, but it usually turns out fine.

    This looks delicious, by the way!