Friday, December 14, 2012

Vegetarian Curry

Every once in a while, I come across a recipe about which I am skeptical. This recipe was one of them.  I found the recipe in one of my pregnancy books when I was looking for a dish to make for my beautiful Angel, Clare.  I read through the ingredient list -- asparagus, carrots, red bell pepper, tofu, zucchini, etc. -- and it did not seem to appetizing to me.  Still, I know that Clare likes those ingredients, except for zucchini, she has never been a big fan of that ingredient.  So, I decided to make this recipe, despite the use of zucchini.

Clare's dislike would not be a problem for this recipe, because I did not intend to buy any zucchini.  Instead, we had a cucumber that had been sitting around our kitchen for a day or two and I wanted to use that ingredient.  Clare is also not a big fan of cucumbers and, generally speaking, cucumbers do not always make the best substitutes for zucchini.  I did not want to throw the cucumber away, so I added to this recipe as a substitute.  In the end, I have to say that the substitution of the zucchini with the cucumber did not matter. 
More importantly, I have to admit that, despite my initial skepticism, this recipe turned out very well.  This is a healthy dish, which I made even healthier by using brown rice instead of plain white rice. I think that what made this dish good for me was the choice in curry powders.  I used a tablespoon of sweet curry powder and a teaspoon of Penzey's Maharajah Curry Powder.  All of this exposed a secret about the carnivore in me ... cook a bunch of vegetables in a curry and I will eat them ... along with the tofu.

Recipe from Eating for Pregnancy at 206-207
Serves 4

2 tablespoons of canola oil
2 tablespoons of minced or grated fresh ginger, or to taste
1 garlic clove
1 cup sliced baby carrots or shredded regular carrots
1/2 red bell pepper, quartered and thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini, washed, halved lengthwise and 
     into thinly sliced
12-16 ounces of asparagus, washed, tough ends trimmed and 
     cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 15-ounce package of extra-firm tofu, drained, cut into 1/2 inch
     cubes and blotted dry with paper towels
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of milk curry powder, or to taste
1 14-ounce can of light or regular coconut milk
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon of quick dissolving flour, to desired consistency
Juice of 1 lime or to taste
Salt, to taste

1.  Saute the vegetables.  In a large non-stick skillet or large walk, heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil over medium high heat.  Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the carrots, bell pepper, zucchini, and asparagus and/ saute for 3 minutes.  Transfer the cooked vegetables to a serving dish and cover with foil.  Set aside. 

2.  Saute the tofu  Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of canola oil to the skillet or wok and heat over medium-high heat.  Add the tofu, scallions and curry powder and saute for 3 minutes.  Add the coconut milk and cook for 3 minutes, or until hot.  Sprinkle in the quick dissolving flour and stir to mix.  Add the reserved vegetables and mix gently, then stir in the cilantro and lime juice.  Adjust the seasoning.

3.  Plate the dish.  Transfer the curry to a serving bowl and serve immediately with brown rice (made according to the instructions on the package).


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