Showing posts with label curry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label curry. Show all posts

May 8, 2021

trinidad chickpea and potato curry


Time: 35 minutes
Dishes: large pot, rice cooker

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

This Trinidad recipe comes courtesy of my son's mother-in-law. I'd say it comes courtesy of my son-in-law, but he doesn't cook and never learned. My son learned this recipe directly from his husband's mother. This is very near and dear to both my son and son-in-law and they make it every few weeks or so.

I completely understand why - it is delicious and ridiculously easy to make! This is another dish where it is best to start making the rice first because the curry is done so quickly! 

The original version of this recipe uses about 6 tablespoons of oil (neutral oil is best if using this amount) and a half cup of brown sugar, so if you want the very authentic version, bump up my quantities accordingly. 

For an everyday recipe, I recommend using the proportions I gave, which does have my son-in-law's stamp of approval. In fact, they both say that it is too close in flavor to the original to not go the healthier route. 

Also, my recipe uses my homemade curry powder (get it HERE), which I HIGHLY recommend. Buying curry powder at the store will leave your curry a bit flat, unless you know the spices were ground recently. That is something near impossible to tell with a store-bought curry powder. Making your own takes about 10 minutes and lasts about 3 months (for optimal flavor). 

I know the recipe and the ingredients look too easy and simple to possibly produce anything amazing, but the sum of the parts is absolutely delicious! 

Deep appreciation is sent to my son-in-law's mother. I hope she has a few more recipes she's willing to share!

If you need inspiration for your weekly menu, check out ours HERE.


Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Start the rice first.
  • Peel the potatoes and drain the chickpeas (reserve aquafaba; freeze if not using within a few days).
  • Prepare the water to add to the curry.
  • Measure the sugar, salt, garlic and salt-free seasoning while the water comes to a boil, after adding the chickpeas and potatoes.
  • Wash the spinach while the curry cooks.

(Printer-friendly doesn't seem to be so friendly. Just select the text between the arrows (including the white space to add margin on the top), right-click, select Print, and now it's printer-friendly. Can also be saved as PDF:  choose Save as PDF in Destination drop-down, instead of a printer.)

Trinidad Chickpea and Potato Curry

Makes 4 servings 



2 cups rice, any kind

2 cups water

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons curry powder (store-bought or Zsu’s Curry Powder)

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 1/2 pounds waxy potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

2 - 3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garlic granules or powder

1 teaspoon salt-free seasoning (like Mrs. Dash)

5 ounces baby spinach (optional)


1. Rice: Cook the rice as desired, in a rice cooker or Instant Pot.

2. Base: Have the 2 cups of water ready next to the pot to avoid burning the curry powder. Add the oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add the curry powder and cumin seeds, mix well. Cook very briefly to awaken the flavors and then immediately add the water.   

3. Potatoes:  Add the potatoes, chickpeas, sugar, salt, garlic and salt-free seasoning to the Base. Mix well, bring to boil over high heat, and reduce to medium heat to simmer. Partly cover and cook until the potatoes are tender and the sauce is well reduced, about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir once or twice toward the end of the cooking. Taste and adjust seasoning.  

4. Spinach (optional): Stir in the spinach. Cook to wilt, about 1 minute and serve.


© 2021 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

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vegan vegetarian meatless plant-based

May 3, 2021

making curry powder

Welcome to Making Mondays, dear Readers! 

Today's Making Monday recipe is Curry Powder. I know - you can buy curry powder at any store. But I ask you, how do you know how long it's been on the store shelf before you picked it up? I say to you that making your own curry powder returns your investment of time in spades.

The most obscure ingredient is fenugreek seeds, so you can skip it if you must, but if you can get ahold of some (at Indian grocers or Amazon) , it adds a wonderful aromatic and flavorful component to the curry powder - and your kitchen. 

I think making your own curry powder elevates whatever dish you add it to, be it an Asian, African or American dish. I find myself reaching for curry powder quite often and am always elated when I open my jar; the aroma is so fragrant and smells delicious.

Making it is simple: you toast the whole seeds, allow them to cool a bit and add those and paprika and turmeric to a personal blender. Use a piece of paper rolled into a tube that is wider at the top to act as  a funnel for the transfer of the seeds. Blend into a powder and store. 

This recipe makes one spice jar's worth and will keep for about 3 months. Store it in the freezer if you use it infrequently, but mine hasn't lasted 3 months at any point.

It is VERY important that you add the paprika to the blender and not the skillet to avoid burning it. If you burn the paprika, even slightly, it will impart an unpleasant bitter flavor to the powder. 

Below is the step by step.


(Printer-friendly doesn't seem to be so friendly. Just select the text between the arrows (including the white space to add margin on the top), right-click, select Print, and now it's printer-friendly. Can also be saved as PDF:  choose Save as PDF in Destination drop-down, instead of a printer.)


Making Zsu's Curry Powder

Makes 1/3 cup

1/4 cup coriander seeds

2 teaspoons black peppercorn 

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds

2 tablespoons paprika

1 teaspoons turmeric

1. Toast: Add the coriander, peppercorn, cumin and fenugreek seeds to a medium skillet over medium heat. Toast the seeds until they smell nutty, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes.

2. Blend: Add the seeds to a personal blender. Add the paprika and turmeric. Use the flat blade, if possible:

3. Blend well into a powder. Transfer to an air-tight container and store away from light.

© 2021 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

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vegan vegetarian meatless plant-based

Aug 22, 2016

pantry+ roasted cauliflower in coconut curry

I am going to be completely honest with you: this is a really delicious dish! It uses pan-roasted cauliflower cooked in a coconut bechamel sauce. The sauce is laced with garam masala, one of the global spice mixes I am using for the Pantry+ recipes and it is a knock out!

It also happens to be really easy and fast to make, so you should get the rice cooking right away. Use my quick, 30-minute brown rice recipe HERE to make things go as fast as possible.

This recipe needs only 5 pantry ingredients and 4 fresh ingredients.

Roasted Cauliflower in Coconut Curry:

Large skillet
Medium sauce pot

Pantry ingredients are:
Vegetable broth
Garam Masala
Coconut milk
Red chili flakes

Fresh ingredients are:
Brown Rice

It is amazing how using only one spice mixture, and cooking the spice mixture first, adds so much flavor to a dish. This certainly cuts down on a list of ingredients. Since I still have garam masala from a store-bought batch I am not supplying a recipe for it, yet, but a quick search on the web will result in a plethora of options.

I dry roast the cauliflower because I've come to notice that there is a lot of moisture in vegetables that help cook and saute them without the need for added oil as long as you dry roast them in a well-seasoned cast iron pan and use a lid. It also speeds up cooking.

Because of the lack of oil, you need to toast your flour first and then add it and the milk to a blender, instead of using a roux of oil and flour to make the thickening agent.

Whether you choose to use a roux or a blender, this sauce thickens beautifully and is very delicious. The garam masala comes through in a big way and the touch of spice from the red chili flakes offers a bit of bite. The few dates in the curry lend the sweetness that it needs. Add some fresh cilantro as a garnish to brighten up this curry and the meal is complete.

Roasted Cauliflower in Coconut Curry (a Pantry+ recipe)
Makes 4 servings
Pantry list is HERE.

1 medium head cauliflower
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth, divided
3 tablespoons whole wheat pastry or all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
3 large dates, seeded and chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/2 cup cilantro
Hot, cooked brown rice

1. Begin preparing the rice as desired. Use my quick brown rice recipe. 
2. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Chop the cauliflower into florets and add it to the hot skillet. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Stir, cover and cook for another 3 minutes. Repeat until the cauliflower is golden. Add 1/2 cup broth, cover and steam until the broth evaporates and the cauliflower is tender. Remove and set aside in a bowl.
2. Add the flour to the skillet and stir. Cook for 2 minutes and add the garam masala. Stir and cook until the masala is aromatic. Add the coconut milk to a blender and add the cooked flour. Blend until smooth. (This step is to omit oil from the recipe. You can cook the flour in 3 tablespoons of oil and whisk in the coconut milk {instead of using a blender}, if desired.)
3. Transfer the coconut mixture to the skillet, add the dates, the salt, red chili flakes and the remaining 1 cup of broth. Stir to combine and add the cauliflower. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce is thickened and the dates are tender, about 3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning.
4. Serve with the brown rice and garnished with the cilantro. 

© 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

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Dec 23, 2011

noodle curry

I'm not exactly sure what my son was thinking when we were making the menu. He said he'd like to see Noodle Curry on the menu. I don't think I've ever made it and I didn't know exactly what he wanted, but I wrote it down and decided I 'd come up with something when the time came. 

This is what I ended up making:

 I baked some tofu (after a 30 minute press) in tamari and oil - pretty simple, nothing extravagant. Since I was firing up the oven, I also tossed some kabocha squash with a little oil and baked that as well. I used rice noodles and cooked an assortment of vegetables I had on hand. In fact, most of the veggies were frozen from a stir-fry mix - broccoli, chestnuts, green beans. I also added fresh celery and bell pepper. 

For the curry part, I made a sauce using red curry paste (there are also commercial brands that are vegan), tamarind (for the tartness - use lemon juice as an alternative), and coconut milk. I tossed all the ingredients - tofu, vegetables, noodles, sauce and squash - together and cooked them for a few minutes at the end to meld the flavors. If you skip the squash add a little more sugar to the sauce since the squash added a delicious sweetness. This is a fantastic way to use winter squash.

This was delicious and not all that complicated to make. A few steps: (1) Baking the tofu and squash. (2) Soaking the noodles. (3) Cooking the vegetables and (4) making the sauce. That's about it. And worth it. The pot of food disappeared in no time.

Cost Breakdown

noodles: $1
coconut milk: $1
vegetables and fruits: $5
curry and tamarind: $.50
tofu and spices: $3
Total to make 5 servings:

Nov 8, 2010

native foods (MoFo 5)

Native Foods is the brain child of Tanya Petrovna, who opened the first Native Foods in 1994. She will be opening the seventh very soon! That is impressive; a vegan restaurant that will be celebrating another grand opening. What is more impressive, though, is the food. I am literally licking the plate that I served the Azteca Ensalada on - that Mango-Lime Dressing rocks!

Another impressive feat is the preparation of her tempeh. While she actually makes the tempeh on the premises, my store-bought version did not suffer any using her technique. Delicious! If you are one of those tempeh-phobes this is the recipe for you. If after having tempeh this way you don't like it, then you never will and you may fearlessly throw in the proverbial towel. 

To the recipes...

Let's face it, nachos are good. Most any nachos. But these Native Nachos are great! Chef Tanya shares her Native Chi's recipe that go on this and the taco 'meat' is TVP. You can freely use seitan ground, however, or omit it at will and double the beans. Nothing processed. Even the cashew sour cream I have on there is very easy to make. THIS is one loaded nacho plate and go ahead and customize it to your palate.

Now for that salad I was drooling over in the beginning - assorted greens with tomato, onion, jicama or apple or asian pear, cucumbers, cilantro, mango, raisin, pumpkin seeds, quinoa (superfood!) and that outrageous Mango-Lime Dressing and you not only have a complete meal but a little piece of heaven.

The last item on our tasting menu is the Gandhi Bowl - two kinds of rice, steamed greens, curry sauce and that tempeh of hers - blackened. Cajun-meets-Asian. Another out-of-the-park dish. She is batting a thousand.

The only real criticism I have is that she is inundating the east coast with her restaurants and is leaving the mid and west coast to suffer without her culinary contributions. Pure selfishness.

Cost Breakdown:

chips: $3 
cheeze, cashew sour cream: $3
TVP, beans: $4
tomato, onion, olive, pepper: $3
Total to make apps for 8:

greens: $4
Asian pear, tomato, cuke, mango: $4
mango, lime, oil, cilantro: $2
raisin, pumpkin: $1
quinoa: $1
Total to make 4 servings:

rice: $1.50
curry, coconut milk: $2
tempeh: $3
greens, cauliflower: $3
Total to make 5 servings:

Native Nachos

Ensalada Azteca

Gandhi Bowl