vegetable curry

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I’m particular about cookbooks. I’ve gotten into the habit of buying one hopefully comprehensive cookbook per cuisine. It started with Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking and Marcella Hazen’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, then it was Corinne Trang’s Essentials of Asian Cooking, and most recently, Julie Sahni’s Classic Indian Cooking.

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The thing is, I’ve hardly made anything from any of these. I’ve barely even opened Indian Cooking since I got it for Christmas this year, and to be honest, I’m really not bothered by this. It makes me happy just knowing that I have them, and that someday, hopefully sooner rather than later, I’ll find the time and discipline to learn what I can from each one.

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In fact, I’ve only made a couple of Indian dishes ever, but that was all I needed to be convinced that I’ll love it; I enjoy the basic flavors and ingredients so much. One of my favorites is a vegetable curry dish from Cooks Illustrated, but every time I made it, I was surprised by how long it took. I wanted something simpler that I could reasonably make on a weeknight.

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Then I found a recipe for Aloo Gobi that had a lot of the same ingredients, except less of them, plus a simpler cooking method. It has potatoes in it, as does the CI recipe, but since I wanted to serve my curry mixture over rice, I decided that I could eliminate the potatoes. I also wanted this to be a one-dish meal, but the original didn’t have any protein. Exchanging the potatoes for chickpeas killed two birds with one stone.

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The recipe starts out with sautéing all sorts of delicious aromatics – garlic and ginger of course, but also spices, including curry powder and garam masala. Garam masala is seriously delicious stuff. It’s a blend, so brands will vary, but I’ve been perfectly happy with McCormick’s. Then I added cauliflower, which is my favorite vegetable, and then tomatoes and chickpeas. One ingredient I love after another. At the end, peas are stirred in.

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This was exactly what I was looking for. It has similar ingredients to the Cooks Illustrated recipe that I enjoyed so much, but it’s easy enough to make on a weeknight. Aloo gobi  has similar flavors, but this version has the right nutritional balance for a one-pot meal. I wonder how many more great Indian dishes I can discover by actually looking through a cookbook?

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One year ago: Grits, Onion, and Cheese Souffles

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Vegetable Curry

Serves 3-4

I love this over basmati rice (I like to put a cinnamon stick and some cloves in the pot with the rice cooks) and topped with mango chutney and plain yogurt.

I didn’t have peas when I photographed this. Also, I used too much of the spices; the recipe below calls for less than I used, so if yours looks a little different from the pictures, that may be the reason.

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon minced or grated ginger
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons curry powder
½ medium head cauliflower, cut into small-medium sized florets
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 ounces (about ¾ cup) frozen peas

1. In a large skillet, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, garam masala, and curry powder. Cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.

2. Add the cauliflower and toss to incorporate with the spices, then stir in ½ teaspoon salt, the chickpeas, and the tomatoes with their liquid. Cover the pan and simmer over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the peas, cover again, and continue simmering for 2-3 minutes, until the peas are heated through. Serve over rice, topped with plain yogurt and mango chutney, if desired.

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  1. Sara L says:

    I might try this this weekend. I was just trying to think of something new to cook. I like indian food too, and generally the kids will eat anything that’s not spicy hot.

  2. I haven’t had much experience with Indian food, but this looks great and probably a good place to start! I hope I’ll get to try it sometime 🙂

  3. Mmmm this looks delicious! I love curry but unfortunately its just about the one thing my boyfriend cannot handle. He hates Indian food (which is my favorite) so very rarely do I get to eat it. I will have to save this recipe for when he is out of town…yum!

  4. I love vegetable curry too, hardly ever make it b/c of the length of time it takes. I’ll have to try this one. Great pics!

  5. Mmm, looks great! I’ve been making more Indian dishes lately too! Happy Belated Bday too!

  6. Roshini says:

    I know you already have your Indian cookbook, but Madhur Jaffrey and K.M. Mathew have written some of the best Indian cookbooks out there (as in, Indian people use them). My mom cooks the best Indian food I have ever had and those are her go-to’s.

    P.S. I enjoy your blog a lot and have a list of recipes I want to make.

  7. Beautiful! I have to ditto the Madhur Jaffrey suggestion above…she has amazing cookbooks!
    I made a TON of Indian food last year and then we ate it all the time in Thailand so I got a little tired of it, but this looks like something I definitely want to make in the near future!

  8. Alrighty… I’ll admit. I was going to skim over this entry because I assumed it called for a ton of ingredients I don’t have. But I discovered there are only two ingredients I don’t know what they are, that I’d need to pick up. Everything else seems easy enough! MAYBE… MAYBE, I’ll try it!

  9. I’ve been craving good vegetarian Indian fare–and this certainly fits the bill. I’m digging for the basmati right now.

  10. that looks really good–i haven’t had much experience w/indain food though. hmm. i, on the other hand, have thousands of cookbooks (really 75) and have not read most of them.

  11. Sudesh says:

    In Hindi, the prevelant language in India, Aloo means Potaoes, Gobhi is Cauliflowers…So there can be no Aloo Gobhi without Potatoes..
    So what you made is Gobhi Choley ( Choley is Chickpeas)..and not Aloo Gobhi.. delicious all the same..:-)

  12. Plenty, I imagine, lol 🙂 As you know, I am a cookbook nut… I love talking circles around the bookstore staff, ha ha ha. We Filipinos have no qualms about putting taters on rice 😉 Love the curry, I’m looking forward to subbing my own vegetables too!

  13. That looks delish! I am very hesitant to use curry most of the time….but I am going to have to try this soon!

  14. Oh, how I love Indian. So many bright and powerful spices, such interesting uses for different vegetables. Just lovely. Maybe I should take your approach and try to get one book per ethnic cuisine, it would help reduce the size of my cookbook collection, methinks 🙂

  15. I bookmarked a recipe on your blog ages ago, I don’t even remember how I came across it. Today I was sorting through my bookmarked recipes and found yours, and have been poking around on your blog for a half hour or so. Then I found this Vegetable Curry recipe! Just yesterday I was digging around for a good uncomplicated veggie curry recipe. I can’t wait to try this!

  16. This looks delicious! Another one to add for our meatless meals menu.