I love making curries for dinner – all of those spices coming together can turn ordinary, every day ingredients into an exotic meal. Not to mention they are super easy to make – all you need is one big pot, a knife, and something to stir with and you’re good to go. In fact, they are a perfect way to get into making vegetarian meals, because all of those spices really make vegetables shine, even for hard-core carnivores!
Of course, I do not come from a background where curry is traditional dish, so I’ve had to teach myself the art of good curry over the years. I have one cookbook that I consider my bible on Asian cuisines – The Essential Asian Cookbook. It has fantastic, easy to follow recipes from pretty much every Asian cuisine, from Laos to India, Japan to Thailand, and everything in between. The cookbook was released in 1997, and my version is from 2005, but I see it was completely revamped with new photos and styling in 2011. I think that alone attests to how good of a book it is. If you see it, pick up a copy. Trust me.
But I digress. I have come to love a very specific curry that I first made from this cookbook – the Dry Potato and Pea Curry - and have continued to tweak over the years, trying out different vegetables that I happened to have on hand, different curry paste blends, etc. And while my curry has strayed a little from the more traditional recipe in the cookbook, it still keeps true to the Indian flavour profile. Not to mention that the boyfriend likes it – in fact, he even requests it, and has stated that I have made him realize that he enjoys curry. Win!
I’ve lightened up the original recipe by replacing some of the potatoes with cauliflower, and reducing the amount of oil used. I’ve also added extra peas and baby spinach, so that you get some extra greens in there. Aside from the fact that you could probably almost meet your servings of vegetables for the day with a bowl of this curry, it’s also full of vitamins, minerals, and fibre, and oh year – tastes fantastic. The spices are warm, complex, and inviting – your house will smell amazing when you cook this. I love to pair this curry with some cool plain yogurt and sweet mango chutney to balance out the heat and spice. I’ll often serve it with some whole wheat naan or papadums (thin, cracker like flatbread often made with lentil or chickpea flour) to scoop up the small amount of sauce that remains from the curry, yogurt, and chutney. It makes the perfect Meatless Monday meal – it’s quick, easy, cheap, and delicious!
Potato, Pea, and Cauliflower Curry
serves 4 – 6
Curry makes a fantastic vegetarian meal, and this is no exception. The fragrant spices turn familiar potatoes, peas, and cauliflower into an exotic experience that the whole family can enjoy. Play with different curry pastes to suit your personal tastes. Serve with yogurt, chutney, and some naan bread for an awesome Indian meal.
- 2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil or ghee (I use avocado oil)
- 2 medium onions, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
- 1 tsp tumeric
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tbsp curry paste (I like vindaloo)
- 4 medium potatoes, cubed
- 3 cups cauliflower florets
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2-3 cups baby spinach leaves
1. In a large dry pan, cook the mustard seeds over medium heat until the seeds just start to pop. Add the oil/ghee, onions, garlic, and ginger, and cook until the onion is soft but not browned.
2. Add the tumeric, chili powder, cumin, curry paste, potatoes, and cauliflower, stirring until the potatoes and cauliflower are just coated.
3. Add the water, cover and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, until the potatoes are just tender. Make sure to stir occasionally.
4. Add the peas and spinach, stir to combine. Allow to simmer covered for another 3-5 minutes, until the peas are warm and the spinach is wilted.
Notes: Add a can of chickpeas for some extra protein if you like. Vindaloo curry paste can be very hot, so adjust the amount to your liking, or choose a milder curry paste.
Do you love curry? What are some of your favourite recipes?