August 18, 2010

Indian-Style Vegetable Curry

I find it funny that most people either totally love or totally hate curry. There seems to be no middle ground. Just mention the word "curry" in mixed company and you will get quite a diverse range of reactions from the crowd. It is just one of those food categories that people have strong feelings about, on both sides of the spectrum. Personally, I fall into the first group...I am a huge fan of Indian curries. There is just something about the bold spices and savory sauces that is so completely comforting to me. Also, I truly appreciate that a 'curry' is such a unique food experience. There is nothing else like it; with the exception of more curry. I really do love it!

Needless to say, I was pleased to find this recipe in my borrowed copy of America's Test Kitchen Light & Healthy 2010. It took a little time to put together, but the effort was well worth it! This was a delicious vegetable curry dish that hit all the right notes. Best of all, it was healthy without sacrificing taste. Yum!

Indian-Style Vegetable Curry
From: America's Test Kitchen Light & Healthy 2010

1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes, pulsed in a food processor until nearly smooth with 1/4-inch pieces visible
4 teaspoons mild curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
3 Tablespoons canola oil
2 onions, minced (about 2 cups)
12 oz. Red Bliss potatoes (about 2 medium), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 serrano chile, stemmed and seeded,and minced
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 medium head cauliflower, trimmed, cored, and cut into 1-inch florets (about 4 cups)
1 1/4 cups water
1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Salt to taste
1 1/2 cups frozen peas (8 oz.)
1/2 cup of low-fat or fat-free, plain Greek-style yogurt
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
cooked brown rice

In a food processor, pulse diced tomatoes about 8 times, or until mostly smooth. Set aside.

Heat 2 Tbsp. of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the curry powder and garam masala, and cook until fragrant; about 10 seconds. Add the onions and potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized and the potatoes are golden brown on the edges, about 10 minutes. (Reduce the heat to medium if the onions darken too quickly.)

Reduce the heat to medium. Clear the center of the pan and add the remaining 1 Tbsp. oil and the garlic, ginger, chile and tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cauliflower and cook, stirring constantly, until the spices coat the florets, about 2 minutes longer.

Add the processed tomatoes, water, chickpeas, and 1 tsp. salt; increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula or wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits. Cover and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer briskly, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the peas and continue to cook until heated through, about 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and stir in the yogurt. Adjust the seasoning with salt to taste, and stir in the cilantro. Serve immediately over brown rice.

The Result:
This dish was a terrific vegetarian curry! Completely satisfying with perfectly balanced flavors. I am so glad I tried it!!!

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