I really like Indian food! But I hardly ever cook it myself for some reason… This cookbook can however be the solution on this: Easy curry vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey. A thick bible of 350 pages with different curry’s and other vegetarian side dishes.
Did you know that 70 % of all vegetarians in the world are living in India? In other words, they must be experts in making exciting dishes! It’s high time to learn more about this kitchen for me.
The Indian kitchen has a lot of interesting spices such as fenugreek (an absolute must in any curry!), green chili pepper (it turns out to be an essential part of any Indian cooking, little did I know), fresh curry leaves (rather difficult to find even here but the good news is; ones found buy a lot and keep them in the freezer so that you always are prepared for curry) and asafoetida (another standard ingredient in the Indian kitchen, used mainly in lentil curries such as dal. In its pure form, its odour is so strong the aroma will contaminate other spices stored nearby if it is not stored in an airtight container. Whoops!). And the list can be made much longer. As a nerdy foodie, I immediately feel a need of building a bigger kitchen with more shelfs for all these interesting spices!
The recipes are made with a mix of traditional spices and cooking techniques combined with more modern western background. When cooking from the book, I was surprised how easy it was cooking this food. Part from the time and the specific spices that I had to look for, it really tasted great and was just as easy as any other food. Why on earth didn’t I try this earlier?!
Funny is also to read the stories behind the recipes. The author has really gone down in-depth to find out who is cooking, why, how and when is the food eaten. A cultural report from such a diverse country. When reading the cookbook, I don’t only travel with my taste buds but also with getting to know the country better.
The recipe that I have chosen for you from the book is a very easy and delicious curry with white mushrooms, coconut milk and Indian spices. It’s perfect to make on any weekday, fast, easy-going and without having to run al over the country to find the ingredients.
Let’s get to work!
Mushroom curry with coconut milk
14.1 oz / 400 gram /4 dl thick coconut milk
15,9 oz / 450 gram white, preferably small mushrooms
1 teaspoon of salt (or less according to your own taste)
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
4 tablespoons oil (coconut or sunflower oil)
6 tablespoons of finely chopped shallot
2 teaspoons of grounded coriander seeds (I only took 1 tsp)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon of red chili pepper powder
2-3 fresh, green chili peppers (I used 2)
1 tablespoon of the juice from 1 or 2 lime
How do I do it?
1. Clean and cut the mushrooms in halves, if they are big cut them in 4 pieces. Add them to a bowl and sprinkle salt and turmeric powder on top. Cover your hands in kitchen-gloves (or simply take a spoon) and see that the mushrooms are well mixed with the spices . Set the bowl aside for 10 minutes.
2. Pour the oil in a medium saucepan and turn on the heat. When hot, add the finely chopped shallot to it and bake until brown. Add the coriander seed powder and chili powder and stir carefully on a lower heat for a few minutes.
3. Add the green chilies cut in halves and the marinated mushrooms (including all spices and any moisture) to the pan and stir again carefully. Bake for another two minutes and add then
1, 3/4 dl of the coconut milk to the pan. Bring it to a boil and let the sauce cook for another 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid burning.
4. Add the rest of the coconut milk and stir with a wooden spatula to blend it. Let it again come to a boil and let the sauce simmer for another minute. Finally add the lime juice before serving. Enjoy!
In the book the curry is served with a rice pilaf with red berberis berries but since I don’t eat so much rice anymore, I adjusted the recipe and made the pilaf with cauliflower instead. This turned out great and I therefore add my version to this post as well. I hope the author won’t mind!
I also added a simple salad made with cut cucumber, a small piece of a red apple and fresh mint. Al together it made a great combination of hot, sweet, sour and crunchy. Just the way I like it!
Cauliflower pilaf with berberis berries
0,035 oz / 1 gram of saffron
5 cardamom pods
4 cm cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
A good pinch of salt
14.1 oz / 400 gram / 4 dl cashew milk
A handful of dried berberis berries (or cranberries if you can’t manage to find) + water
How do I do it?
1. Add all spices and the cashew milk to a small cooking pan. Let it come to a boil and let it simmer on a low temperature for about 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid burning. Set aside while doing the other preparations.
2. Wash the berberis berries and soak them in water for about 20 minutes. When ready, drain them and pat dry.
3. Cut the cauliflower finely in the size of rice. This can easiest be made in a mixer but cutting works just as good.
4. Let the milk and spices ones more come to a boil and add the cut cauliflower to the mix. Boil until ready, the cauliflower should still have a slightly hard core. This only takes a few minutes!
5. Use a skimmer to separate the ready cauliflower when its time for serving (don’t leave the ready cauliflower in the fluid as it will continue cooking). Sprinkle the berberis berries on top. Enjoy!
This recipe is free from sugar, gluten and lactose.
It is vegan, paleo and LCHF friendly.
Titel Easy curry vegetarian (Dutch titel Easy curry vegetarisch)
Author Madhur Jaffrey
Publisher Ebury Press
Get the book via Amazon.com, click here!