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.

Pin it!

vegan vegetarian meatless plant-based

May 1, 2021

primavera alfredo pasta


Time: 30 minutes
Dishes: 2 medium pots, large skillet, blender

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

One of my all-time favorite pasta dishes is Primavera Alfredo, complete with plenty of vegetables (or fruits - oh, the semantics) and creamy sauce. I have this recipe in my book Everyday Vegan Eats, but I wanted to put an easier twist on it -- if that's possible.

This dish took me 30 minutes to make. The recipe calls for 1 cup of cauliflower, broccoli or another vegetable, so I used fresh peas. If you are using peas (fresh or frozen, partly-thawed), add them when you are adding the sauce. The hot sauce will cook the peas without overcooking them.

The beauty of this sauce recipe is that the blended cashews thicken the sauce as it cooks. There is no added thickeners and it does not need it. The sauce is flavored simply with nutritional yeast, garlic and salt. If you'd like to add some grated vegan parm at the end, by all means do it, although it doesn't need it; I added some for the photo.

If you don't have a high-speed blender, blend the nuts and set the blender aside for 5 minutes to allow the pieces to absorb some of the water. Then blend until smooth. This will blend your nuts smoother, while keeping your blender from melting down.

You can also add some chopped sautéed vegan chicken-style strips, if you happen to have some that needs using up, but, again, that is completely extra.

Creamy, garlicy, cheesy and full of vegetables - I adore this pasta meal.

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


Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Gather your ingredients.
  • Start heating the water for the pasta.
  • If using a standard blender, blend the nuts and set them aside before blending until smooth.
  • Use  a lid to cook the vegetables. Add a tablespoon of olive oil, if desired.

(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.)

Primavera Alfredo Pasta

Makes 4 servings 


8 ounces linguine or other pasta

1 large carrot, sliced

1 small summer squash, sliced

1 cup broccoli, cauliflower or other vegetable

1/2 bell pepper, sliced

2 cups water

1 1/4 cups raw cashews

3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes

1 garlic clove

1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Pasta: Cook the pasta in a medium pot of salted boiling water, until   al dente. Drain the pasta, return to the pot:

2. Vegetables: Add the carrot, squash, broccoli and pepper to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, covered, and stir as needed, until tender, about 10 minutes. Add a few tablespoons of water, as needed.

3. Sauce: Blend the water, cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic and salt until very smooth. Add the sauce to a medium pot and bring to a simmer to thicken, about 5 minutes.

4. Combine: add the Sauce and Pasta to the Vegetables in the skillet. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.


© 2021 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Pint It!

vegan vegetarian meatless plant-based