I learned to make curries years ago while working at the college cafeteria. During a summer seminar, an Indian group arrived. They sent their chef into the kitchen to teach my friend and I how to make food for them. When I had my restaurant, Indian Vegetable Curry was a staple, we served this dish frequently. Using fresh spices is one way to enhance the flavor of the curry.
Here are vegetables from the garden that I used when making curry in late August. I vary what I put into my curry depending on what’s in season. So feel free to make substitutes.
Indian Vegetable Curry
- 2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
- 2 tablespoons butter – optional
- 2 teaspoons black mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon corriander
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1½ teaspoons turmeric
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne
- 3 cloves garlic, mashed
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
- 1 large yellow onion
- 2 large carrots
- 3 medium red or yukon gold potatoes
- 1 to 2 zucchini
- 1 small eggplant
- 1 bell pepper, green or red
- 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
- 2 large tomatoes
- ½ bunch cilantro
- 1 to 2 cups brown rice
- plain yogurt – optional
- chutney as a side – optional
- Cook the brown rice, here is the recipe. While it is cooking, begin preparing vegetables and spices.
- Dice onion, set aside. Chop vegetables into bite-sized pieces, keeping them separated from each other. Remove leaves from most of the stems of the cilantro. Discard stems. Mince leaves and set aside.
- Combine the cumin, corriander, turmeric, salt and cayenne in a small bowl. (Don’t add the mustard seed.) Set aside.
- In a medium sized pot (preferably with a heavy bottom) turn heat to medium. Add the oil and butter if you are using butter. Let the butter melt for about a minute, then add the black mustard seed. Stir until the mustard seed start to pop. This will take a few minutes, careful not to let the butter brown or burn.
- Once the seeds begin to pop, add the rest of the spices along with the garlic and ginger and stir well for about a minute.
- Add the chopped onion. Stir and let cook about 2 minutes.
- Add the bell pepper and continue to cook another minute.
- Now add the carrots. Cook about 2 more minutes. Then add the potatoes and tomatoes. Cook another minute or two.
- Add the zucchini, cook 2 minutes. Add the eggplant and continue to cook until the vegetables are just done, adding the peas the last minute. You may place a lid on the pot for a few minutes if desired.
- Remove from heat, and stir in the fresh minced cilantro. Serve over brown rice with a side of chutney and/or plain yogurt.