Thursday, January 31, 2013

Curried Potatoes with Cauliflower

I've been sharing quite a few red cabbages recipes lately (with many more still in queue), so I thought I'd switch gears and share a recipe for another few of vegetables of which I've been blessed (or burdened) with an overabundance - potatoes, carrots, and onions. Cauliflower and potato curry is a favorite around my house, and while I was tempted to revisit that standby, I chose this recipe to make a bigger dent in my root vegetable stores. At first I was worried that I would miss the chickpeas, but I found the carrots to be a more that ample substitute, the sweetness a nice complement to the starchy potatoes and aromatic spices. This curry follows uses a traditional assortment of spices to unite the generous portions of vegetables and permeate the house with irresistible aromas that will bring everyone vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike to the dinner table. The depths of winter demand hearty, satisfying foods and this dish is the perfect healthy alternative to adored, yet heavy, classics like meatloaf and lasagna. Accidentally vegan, but hearty enough for big winter appetites, this meal is great way to welcome anyone in from the cold.

Curried Potatoes with Cauliflower
adapted from Eating Well
serves 4

1 tablespoon mustard seeds, preferably brown
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 onions, chopped (2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 jalapeƱo pepper, seeded, if desired, and minced
1 1/2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon curry powder, preferably Madras
1 pound all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (3 cups)
2 cups water
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets (4 cups)
2 cups sliced carrots
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped toasted nuts, such as almonds, cashews or pistachios (see Tip)
Sour cream or yogurt, for serving (optional)
Naan, rice, or quinoa, for serving (optional)

1. Toast mustard seeds in a small dry skillet over low heat, stirring constantly, until they start to pop, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.
2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-low heat. Add onions, sugar and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden, 10 to 15 minutes. (Add 1 or 2 tablespoons water if mixture starts to burn.) 

3. Add garlic, ginger, jalapeƱos, coriander, curry powder and the toasted mustard seeds; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes more.
4. Add potatoes and water; bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add cauliflower and carrots and simmer, covered, until tender and the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes more. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish or individual plates and garnish with cilantro and toasted nuts, with a side of naan, rice, or quinoa.

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