I make this quick little curry thing a lot. Last week, I served it to a friend for lunch, and told at least two other friends about it, so I figured it was time to write it down and share it with the masses. (Or, ummm, the small group of people who read this blog). It's nice as a side dish with other curries, or meat or chicken (roasted, grilled, baked, whatever you like). Make a big batch of it; it keeps in the fridge for a few days. Serve it over hot rice with a fried egg and some hot sauce; instant dinner! (and yes, that IS a rip-off on bibim bap. I never claimed to be a purist).
This is a clean-out-the fridge recipe, which makes it perfect for a CSA post. There is not strict rule about which vegetables to use, except that you should use veggie you like to eat, of course. For maximum eye appeal, aim to have something red (hot or sweet red peppers), something green (zucchini, green beans, green bell peppers, green peas, broccoli, spinach or other leafys), and something orange (carrots, sweet potato or winter squash) along with something white (potatoes and/or cauliflower), but almost any combination of veggies will work. Mushrooms are quite good in this, too. And chick peas! Or white beans! You get the idea.
Since the version I made this week is most fresh in my mind, that's what I'll write, with the following note: don't get too hung up on amounts. The point of this "recipe" is to use up what you have on hand. So, it says to use 1/2 of a cauliflower because I had already used the other 1/2 for something else. The quantity can be scaled up, and you can add more curry powder if the flavor is not strong enough for you. Just be sure to add the veggies that take longest to cook first; the quicker-cooking ones go in last.
Mixed Vegetable Curry
(A more or less Original Recipe)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion (small, med or large, depending on how much you love onions), chopped
1 tsp or more Madras brand curry powder (I use about 1 tablespoon, but I like spicy salty food)
a few tablespoons of dry sherry, optional
1 can diced tomatoes (don't drain them) or ~2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 pound red-skinned or Yukon gold potatoes (leave them whole if small, cut into 1-2" chunks if large)
1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into small floweretts
1/2 lb green beans, cut into 1" pieces
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into strips.
1 small zucchini, cut into strips 1/2" wide and 1" long
chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, optional
lemon or lime juice, optional
salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan (skillet, unless you are adding fresh leafy greens - in that case, use a large pot with a lid so you have room to add the greens). Add the chopped onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. If you have time, lower the heat and continue cooking the onion until it is light golden in color, about 20 minutes longer - not necessary but it will give added flavor to your curry.
2. Add the curry powder to the pan. Stir and cook for about a minute over medium heat, until the curry powder is fragrant or someone wanders into the kitchen and says, "mmm what smells so good?"
3. Add the sherry (if using) and stir to combine, then add the tomatoes. Stir well, then simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes. At this point, you can turn off the heat and go do something else for an hour or two.
4. Reheat the pan (if needed) and add the longest-cooking veggies that can take a little overcooking: potatoes (or carrots). Stir well, then cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
5. Add the medium-cooking veggies that you'd prefer to not overcook: cauliflower, green beans and red bell pepper. Stir well, cover and simmer for 10 minutes
6. Add the delicate veggies that turn to mush when overcooked: zucchini (or yellow squash), baby spinach. Stir, cover and simmer another 5 minutes.
7. Poke everything with a fork to make sure it is cooked. Add chopped cilantro or parsley and a squeeze of lime or lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper.