Friday, June 16, 2017

Easy curry with veggies!

As a new vegan, one of my biggest challenges was coming up with easy, tasty, and changeable recipes.

Curry is that recipe.

Curry is super versatile, and you can customize it to whatever flavors you like. Curry just means a spicy dish (usually with turmeric and other Indian spices) with vegetables, over rice. That's it! I love this particular curry because it is sweet and spicy and super filling. Lentils and chickpeas contain a great amount of protein.

In the Rio Grande Valley, sometimes it can be difficult to find certain spices. However, I made this curry with spices I can find in every supermarket.

You will need:

1 cup of jasmine rice- (cooked separately)
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 Tablespoon garam masala (you can substitute cinnamon)
1 Tablespoon turmeric
1 Tablespoon curry powder
2 cups lentils (uncooked)
1 cup chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 cup frozen veggies of choice (I used carrots and peas)
1/2 cup coconut cream or coconut milk

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 35- 40 minutes
Serves: 4

For the rice- I use a rice cooker! This is the model I use: The Aroma 8-cup rice cooker. For white rice, put in one cup of rice and add two cups of water. Press the button, and in about 35 minutes, your rice will be perfectly fluffy and ready to eat. You can find this model at Target for about $25. It's a piece of kitchen equipment I use at least once a week and is totally a worthwhile investment.
If you do not have a rice cooker on hand, that's alright. You can use your stovetop. Put in 1 cup jasmine rice, 1-1/2 cups water. Combine water and rice, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cover. Simmer for about 15 minutes and fluff with a fork. 

Now for the curry.
1. Grab a medium-sized pan, put in your tablespoon of coconut oil. Cook on medium heat.
2. Add all spices (turmeric, curry, garam masala) to the pan. This should make an aromatic paste.
3. Toss in your lentils so they are coated in the paste and roast them for about a minute.
4. After the lentils are nicely roasted, add in your chickpeas. Roast them in the paste as well for a minute or less. 
5. Add in the frozen vegetables. Today, I added peas and carrots. You can use fresh veggies of any kind at this point. I've also enjoyed using broccoli, cauliflower, or any variety of available greens. Spinach and kale are awesome additions too.
6. Add your 1/2 cup of coconut cream or coconut milk. Coconut cream is a lot sweeter than coconut milk, so you can decide whether you want the dish to be super sweet or not. My husband loves sweet foods, so I chose coconut cream this time. 
7. Reduce heat to medium low to simmer the curry. Cover the pan and leave simmering for about 30-35 minutes. This will cook the lentils and allow all the spices and coconut milk/ cream to soak into the veggies. 
8. After you've allowed some simmer time, remove from heat. Scoop some rice and add some curry on top.
I love curry. It's super easy, super customizable, and very filling. Feel free to let me know how this recipe worked for you! 

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