Monday, April 29, 2013

Vegetable Curry

I am graduating from graduate school in a couple of weeks and have been thinking about what I will do with all my free time in the evenings. As I spend such a ridiculous amount of time reading food blogs, I thought why not join the thousand others out there in blogging about food. Food is defiantly one of my passions, and I would like to become a better cook.  Unfortunately, I am an incredibly flaky blogger so we’ll see how long I can keep the momentum.

One of my classmates, lets call him Tim, told me recently that he regularly makes curry. I love Indian/Thai food but have never thought of making curry myself.  So, in celebration of my forthcoming graduation and my newfound commitment to blogging, here is vegetable curry.  I would like to say I came up with the recipe myself, but as I am new to the whole curry thing I decided to play it safe.  My vegetable curry is almost identical this one from 

The original recipe calls for potatoes, vegetable oil, a yellow onion, garlic, cumin, cayenne, curry powder, garam masala, ginger root, a can of diced tomatoes, garbanzo beans, peas, and coconut milk. I only used three potatoes because mine were quite large, and I omitted the cayenne power because I don’t want to clutter my kitchen cabinet with spices.  I also used a red onion and coconut oil instead because that is what I had on hand.

I started by peeling and cubing three potatoes.  The recipe said to boil the potatoes for 15 minutes.  I boiled my potatoes for little less.  Perhaps my potatoes cubes were smaller.

Here is the coconut oil I used.  I like to think it is a little bit healthier than vegetable oil. You can also see my ginger root in the far left. I heard somewhere, probably food network, that you should peel the skin of your ginger root with a spoon. As a budding chief, I had to try this technique.

Here I am artfully stirring sizzling coconut oil, one purple onion, and garlic.  I probably shouldn't admit to this, but my garlic came from a jar.  Remember, I am just a budding chief.

After the onion became tender, I added in all of the spices: cumin, curry powder, garam masala, ginger root, and salt.  I was unfamiliar with garam masal, but I am now an expert thanks to Wikipedia.  Garam means hot, and masal means spices.  It is used in cuisine from Northern India and South Asia.  The spices in garam masal vary depending on the region.

Another beginners error was to use McCormick curry powder. You know, the kind that comes in a little plastic tub.  Before you roll your eyes, you should know that "curry powder is a British invention." The phrase in quotations was stolen verbatim from Wikipedia, the source of all wisdom.

The spices melded together with the hot onion mixture for a few minutes before I added chickpeas and diced tomatoes.

This is where I added what initially appeared to be an overwhelming amount of potatoes, which had been drained of course.

The recipe called for canned peas, but caned peas are disgustingly mushy and flavorless.

I am keeping it light and healthy with light coconut milk.

And here is the finished product.  I don't have an ascetically pleasing picture where the curry is served in a cute bowl with ric rac.  

But I do have a picture of the Trader Joe's frozen naan which will be used to scoop and sop up juices.  Last week, before I became a food blogger, I made chicken curry.  This vegetable curry is good, but last weeks chicken curry was better.  I don't think I should have left out the cayenne pepper.  I also think that 4 teaspoons of garam masala could have been a hair too much.  

I am going to try again next week with Thai green curry.  It looks like I am going to have to purchase fish sauce.


GreenTaiwan said...

Can't go wrong with Thai Green Curry. My advice on that one would be to add a heck of a lot more paste than they tell you to. I think we add twice as much. Very entertaining to read your blog again. Keep it up!

laura said...

Thanks Steve!