Carrot & Chickpea Curry

The idea of this recipe compelled me but it was really … carrot-y. LOL Not that that was a bad thing; I just found I didn’t want a very large serving of it on my plate. And I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to make a whole meal of it.

Makes 2 servings

1 t Kashmiri chili powder
1 t ground coriander
1 t turmeric
1/2 t cumin
1/4 t black pepper
1/8 t cinnamon
10 oz carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 c onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, mashed
1 T ginger, grated
7 oz canned tomatoes (1/2 a small can)
6 oz coconut milk
9 oz cooked chickpeas
1 T dried fenugreek leaves

Combine all the spices in a little bowl. Saute the carrots in a little oil for about 10 minutes over medium-high heat to caramelize them. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, cooking until translucent. Add ginger and garlic and cook for 60 seconds.

Increase the heat to medium high and toss in the spices, to toast them. add the tomatoes, coconut milk, chickpeas and fenugreek. Salt to taste. Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for 40 minutes on low. Don’t undercook, as crunchy carrots aren’t what you want here.

Red Curry Lentils

I didn’t think I loved this dish the night I made it; but it was better the following day. It’s rather clove-y, because the store bought garam masala I use has a lot of clove in it. The dish is also quite spicy, thanks to the curry paste I used. (I made a batch using this recipe, even though it’s green).

Personally, I don’t like white rice as an accompaniment to spicy food. Brown rice is better, and naan is the best of all.

1 1/2 c red lentils, cooked
1/2 large onion, diced
2 T butter
2 T red curry paste, below
1/2 T garam masala
1 t curry powder
1/2 t turmeric
1 t sugar
1 t garlic
1 t ginger
1/4 t cayenne
14 oz tomato puree
1/4 c cream (or coconut milk)

Melt the butter and saute the onion, add spices to toast, then tomato puree, lentils & cream. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Red Curry Paste

This recipe is from a north Indian home chef. Her original recipe describes variations for different kinds of Indian cuisine; and links to 10 recipes that call for red curry paste. It’s quite different than the curry paste above, in that it’s made with tomato rather than red pepper, and it’s also got a much sweeter profile, with the cardamom, cloves and cinnamon.

Here’s an authentic recipe for Thai red curry paste that’s quite a bit different still.

Stores in the fridge for 10 days or a month in the freezer

Grind the wet ingredients into a paste in a food processor, using a little water if necessary (a mortar and pestle would be a lot better, to extract all the oils and flavors, but …)

1 c onion
1 inch ginger
3- 4 cloves garlic
2 – 3 green chiles

Grind the following in a spice grinder. This is garam masala, and you’ll only use half of it for this recipe of red curry paste.

2 – 3 bay leaves
2 t cloves
2 t peppercorn
3 – 4 black cardamom (?)
1/2 cinnamon stick
1/2 T cumin seeds

Heat some oil in a pan and add:

1/2 t cumin seeds
1 inch cinnamon stick
3 – 4 cloves
2 black cardamom pods (smashed)

Once they sputter (what does that mean?), add the wet paste and cook on high until all the water has evaporated. Reduce heat and add 1 t turmeric, 2 T coriander and 2 T oil, along with some salt. Cook until it starts to turn brown, then add 1 c pureed tomato. Once all the liquid has evaporated, add your garam masala mix.

Cauliflower Korma Curry

I did not care for this dish. For one thing, I didn’t care for the pebbly texture, thanks to the ground-but-not-really cashews. It was also quite clove-y, thanks to cloves being a star player in the store bought garam masala I bought. And I guess I’m learning I don’t really like cloves!

A much better Indian cauliflower dish is this one, with green curry and daal.

For the cauliflower:

2 large heads cauliflower
3 T oil
1 T garam masala
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t turmeric
1/2 coriander
1/2 cumin
2 t salt

For the Korma:

1-1/2 c raw cashews
2 T butter
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
3 t ginger, crushed
1 T garam masala
1 t coriander
1 t cumin
1 t turmeric
1/2 t cardamom
1/2 t cinnamon
1 t chili powder
2 c broth
1 c cream
2 t sugar

Toss the cauliflower in oil and spices and roast for 30 minutes at 400°.

Soak the cashews in boiling water for 10 minutes. Saute aromatics in butter, add spices and toast. Transfer to a blender and add drained cashews, stock and cream. Blend til smooth, then put back in the pot. Add roasted cauliflower and season with salt, pepper & sugar. Serve with naan and toasted cashews.


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