When eating out, curry is so often a good option for me. A decent curry house doesn’t have problems substituting oil for ghee and coconut milk for cream, being vegetarian is always understood, and wheat flour isn’t used in everything the way it is used in western cooking. They do, however, have a tendency to use much more fat than I could possibly contemplate while cooking at home, which is probably a really good reason for cooking my own! If you want to make yours ‘richer’ (and I don’t dispute that it tastes good!), then by all means increase the oil used to a couple of tablespoons per pan, but I don’t think it really needs it. It does benefit greatly from the use of fresh ginger and coriander, though. I peel my ginger by scraping a knife blade firmly over the surface, and I like to use a micro-plane to grate it, as this tends to separate out the fibrous parts that can be a little unpleasant. I also keep it vegetarian by discarding the last part so I don’t grate my fingers! However, finely chopping the ginger also works.
I’m sure I’m not the only person on the planet to get intimidated by long lists of spices. This curry recipe, however, is relatively short and remarkably quick to make, cooking in only a little longer than it takes the potato to soften. One pan for veggies, one pan for sauce, and one pan for rice if you’re serving that too. This curry is mild in heat, and the flavors of the vegetables are still evident through the permeating spice flavor. This is a good starter curry for both cook and diner. Delicious!
This serves 4 – 6
1 tsp dry mustard powder
3 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp ground coriander
3 tsp garam masala
1 + 1 tbsp coconut or other cooking oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cubic inches fresh ginger, peeled, and very finely minced, or micro-planed
14 fl oz chopped, tinned tomatoes
1 – 3 tbsp honey / agave nectar / maple syrup (for vegan option)
1 tsp tamarind paste, or 2 tsp lemon juice, if tamarind is unavailable
1 1/2 lb potato, (waxy, preferably) peeled and chopped into bite size (1/2″) cubes
1 1/2 lb cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp salt
Fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
If you’re serving rice with your curry, now is a good time to put the water on to boil!
Measure out the mustard powder, cumin, coriander, and garam masala, into a small bowl.
Warm 1/2 the fat in a frying pan, and gently fry the onion over medium/low heat until completely soft and starting to brown.
Add the garlic and ginger, stir and allow to warm through for a minute.
Add the dried spices, stir, and allow them to warm and become fragrant.
Add the tomato, 1 cup (~8 fl oz) water, honey, and tamarind.
Simmer gently until the tomato chunks break down slightly.
While the onions are cooking, warm the other 1/2 of the fat in a saucepan, and gently fry the cauliflower and potato for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Coating the vegetables in oil will help them to hold their shape during the simmering process.
Add the turmeric, and stir until it evenly coats the vegetables and has warmed through.
Add 1 cup (8 fl oz) of water and the salt to the potato/cauliflower, bring to a simmer, and steam gently until the veggies are barely cooked. If the veggies are still uncooked by the time the water boils off, add another 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) of water and continue cooking.
Add the onion/tomato mixture to the cooked potato and cauliflower along with a couple of tablespoons of chopped, fresh coriander, and simmer uncovered for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check seasoning for salt, and add more sweetener if necessary to counteract acidic tomatoes.
Serve hot, garnished with more coriander, and rice or GF naan bread.