Ok, so a good number , great number, of my fellow Hindus are vegetarian - making Indian cooking perfect for the Christian season of meatless Fridays. Most folks go the fish route, which we did for Ash Wednesday - the classic Upstate NY fish fry, but just to shake things up and to add more vegan dishes to our week, we are going vegan Fridays for the 40 days.
This may look like a lot of work, and as I have written here before, I was doing Indian totally wrong till I started cooking with a good pal of mine , who is from India. This is a very basic / straight forward curry that you could add ANYTHING too... meat / fish any vegetables that you can think of, cauliflower -potato is very good, as is pumpkin or butternut squash. But tonight, for Neil and me and Jesus - just vegetables that they had at the Mendon Meadows Market Place.
So, Garbanzo beans ,Mushrooms, Carrots, Yellow Squash, a Chili , Red and Green Peppers ( they have a "day old "vegetable bin at my market and all these were there - if you are making a curry, why not ?). A can of " kitchen cut " tomatoes - but you can use anything at all, crushed or sauce is just fine.
TOP LEFT TO RIGHT
- curry powder ( don't get hot )
- Amchoor Powder ( ground green mango )
- mustard seeds
- star annise and cinnamon stick ( both of which you remove after cooking a bit )
- cumin seeds
- coriander powder
- green cardamom pods ( you have to , if not grinding, which I did, crush these and pic out the tiny tiny little seeds, these are the pods, the seeds / flavor are inside - if you are crushing, you can be lazy )
- a little bit of salt and pepper
Now, what I just realized is , I have no idea how much of everything I use..... bad Kyle. It is a lot more than you would ever think in western cooking. A couple of table spoons of turmeric, table spoon each of the ground spices, other than the amchoor, which is just a tea spoon. Tea spoon of the seeds.If you feel like you might ever really do this, go to a good , modern Indian website and follow.... or ask me here and I will just figure it out ... it really is hard to mess up. Roja, my friend, uses much more than I do .
- cumin seeds
- coriander seeds
- bay leaves
- fennel seeds
- cloves ( I always pic some of the cloves out - I don't like things too clovy )
- black pepper
- cinnamon stick
- cardamon ( I like this flavor, and add more )
- star anise
Toast in a dry pan till you can really smell it - then grind to a fine powder.
Now we are ready, at last, to start cooking
I did not take enough pictures here in the middle , after starting out so well - so after your onions are fried , but not browned, add your minced garlic and ginger, and cook for 5-6 min more.
This is SUPER healthy - the only thing bad about it at all is the amount of oil that is used.. maybe 3/4 a cup , maybe a little bit more, but this makes a huge pan of curry that would feed 5-6 people.