My New Fav…Vegetable Korma
This was an easy meal full of flavor, aroma, and color. Not vegan, but no meat needed to be present. It was one of those days where creativity was useful because I hadn’t been to the store for quite a while. I had plenty of vegetables in the crisper that needed to be used: I had half a head of cauliflower, a bunch of broccoli, some mushrooms, a container of canned tomatoes half used, and as always an onion. I browsed over my lazy susan spice rack and saw spices like curry powder, ginger, cumin, garlic powder, salt, pepper, dried cilantro, and paprika.
Now, how could this make a dinner for four? I thought of the ingredients in a dish I enjoy often with my friend at an Indian restaurant, down the street from me. I couldn’t replicate this exactly but by assembling these things on a bed of rice, I made a pretty good first attempt considering what I had on hand.
Using a deep skillet I heated two tablespoons olive oil and a teaspoon of sesame oil. I diced all the fresh vegetables except for the cauliflower and began to saute them. Once they became browned around the edges, I added about a teaspoon of curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder, same of garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper, I stirred that all in, lowered the heat, then I added about 1/2 cup flour to the leftover tomatoes and stirred it together until it was completely mixed, then quickly scooped it into the skillet. Right away I added some milk to deglaze the pan and to help blend the tomato/flour mixture into the vegetables. I added more milk (about 3 cups total) and let the sauce thicken at a simmer. The cauliflower was then added as it gets mushy quickly. The steam of the simmering sauce would cook it in a matter of minutes. I had to tweak the spices and added more curry powder, some paprika to give it color and flavor, and some more salt taste in the form of soy sauce…about a tablespoon.
This was starting to look really good and the rice which I started before doing anything, using the Mt. Fuji method, was about ready. There was a container with a tablespoon or so of parmesan cheese in the ‘fridge which I thought would be nice to add, and melting it in did add another dimension of flavor. All that was left was to place rice beds in the dishes and top them with this lovely creamy vegetable korma. A pinch of dried cilantro finished it off and the four of us had more than enough to eat. Just when I thought I was in a rut, everything came out smelling …well, not quite like a rose, but quite heady, aromatic, and was very satisfying and delicious.