Sometimes I crave a good Indian curry so much that I’d bend over backwards to get some. And I’m not just talking about Kama Sutra! To keep me wanting more, a curry has got to be spicy, smooth and balanced. I also prefer it to be filled with tender vegetables. Some preliminary studies show that the health benefits of curry might include lower risk of arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. No wonder that Kama Sutra book has remained in popular memory for nearly 2000 years. If variety is the spice of life, and curry is a variety of spices, then this dish will be very satisfying, no matter which angle you look at it.
About 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (enough to coat the bottom of the stock pot)
1 large onion, finely chopped
½ head of garlic, minced
2-3 small/medium sized red potatoes; washed and cut in half coins; just under ½ inch (1 cm) in thickness
1 pound (about ½ kg) of green beans; washed and ends trimmed
3/4th head of cauliflower, washed and trimmed in equal sizes; about 2-2.5 inches (5-6 cm) in length
8 oz (1 package) of mushrooms; washed and quartered
1 pound (about ½ kg) of okra; ends trimmed, then coined in just under ½ inch (1 cm) in thickness
3 fresh tomatoes, cut in 1/8th wedge slices
10 fresh basil leaves, cut in half
3 tablespoons of yellow curry powder
3 tablespoons of turmeric powder
2 cinnamon sticks or 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of oregano
2 teaspoons of coriander seeds or ground coriander
1 teaspoon of paprika
2 tablespoon of Masala powder
1 tablespoon of salt
2 bay leaves
4-5 tablespoons of Ghee (a condensed Indian butter)
32 oz can of tomato sauce
30 oz water
2 cups of dry basmati brown rice
4 cups of water
8 oz can tomato paste
In total, the curry will make about 8-10 servings.
To start, you will need a stock pot. Pour the olive oil in the pot and turn the stove top on low heat. Oil can heat up pretty quickly, so make sure your onions and garlic are already chopped. Sautee the onions first for about 4 minutes, and then add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Next, add the potatoes, cauliflower, and green beans, and let cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. The idea is to add the hardest/firmest vegetables first because it will take them longer to cook.
Once the vegetables are soft but not fully cooked, stir in the can of tomato sauce followed by all of the spices (yellow curry, turmeric, cinnamon, chili powder, cumin, oregano, coriander, paprika, Masala, salt). Gradually add water to the mix.
Tip: If the curry sauce gets too watery, add tomato paste to thicken.
Bay leaves are the last dried spice to add. They can be brittle, and break if they are not carefully added.
**Before you consume the curry, take out the bay leaves. They are sharp, even after they are cooked, and can cut the inside of a mouth or throat!**
Next, stir in the mushrooms, okra and basil. The last items to add are the sliced tomatoes. Because tomatoes are so tender, they can lose their shape easily if added too early in the process.
Let the curry sauce simmer on low heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
While the curry is simmering, cook the rice. Brown rice takes about 40 minutes to cook, which is twice as long as white rice. It takes longer due to the additional nutrients in it, which is added health benefit to YOU (including a lower risk of diabetes)! Since the curry has to cook for up to an hour at this point, you might as well do your body the favor and make brown rice. I think it also tastes better!
Once the rice has cooked, and the curry has finished simmering, you will be ready to eat! Serve with warm Naan bread and enjoy!