31 October 2008

Weeknight Curry

I love curries. Indian, Thai, East Asian, I love them all. I didn't grow up eating curry and in fact never had it till I was an exchange student in Denmark (strange place for it I know). While I was there I took a Danish cooking class with some of the other students. We made the basics- meatballs, leek stuffed meatballs and anything else you can imagine with ground pork. My strongest memory though is going into the spice pantry and getting the jar of curry at the beginning of every class. My group was a bit obsessed and we put curry in everything. Most of the time it worked out and, well, everyone has to try curried spaghetti sauce once in their life right?

I hope the intervening years have given me a bit more appreciation for the flavors that make up curry and less desire to dump it on anything and everything. I still usually resort to a premixed curry powder but when I was searching for some recipes on the Food Network website last week, I came across one for curry that didn't call for curry powder. Normally, these kind of recipes seem to call for about 10 specialty spices I don't have but this one called for spices I knew I had on had. As an added bonus it also called for a bag of frozen veggies (not usually something I do, but as we just moved and I wasn't sure I could find a knife it sounded perfect).

I made a few small adjustments to the recipe as I most of my spices were ground and not whole and I left out the fennel seed as usual (no anise flavor for me, thank you). To thicken the curry, Alton Brown called for plain yogurt and cornstarch, an idea which I really liked as it would give the curry a creamy flavor without all the fat of coconut milk. I decided to use a low-fat Greek yogurt for extra creaminess, as it's already so thick, I left out the cornstarch called for. The last change was to add a third a cup of raisins since I always like something sweet in curries.

Zach and I both really liked the curry. Easy, cheap and healthy and it had so much flavor. To go with it we had basmati rice and spiced chicken, which I will post about this weekend.

Weeknight Curry
Adapted from Alton Brown
Serves 4 (along with a protein) or 2 on its own

Tip: I think it's helpful to measure out the spices and put them in bowls according to when they get added.

1, 1 lb. bag mixed frozen vegetables
2 t. vegetable oil
1/2 t. mustard seeds
1/2 t. ground cumin
1 t. ground turmeric
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. ground coriander
1/8 t. ground cinnamon
2 cloves garlic, crushed with the flat of your knife and skin removed
2 dried red chiles (stems and seeds removed if less heat is desired)
1/4 t. sugar
1/2 t. kosher salt
2/3 C. (6 oz.) lowfat greek yogurt
1/3 C. raisins or chopped dried apricots or other dried fruit
ground black pepper to taste

- Poke a few holes in the vegetable bag and defrost the vegetables in the microwave.

- Eat the oil in a medium non-stick skillet. Add the mustard seeds and cover with a splatter screen. Cook until the seeds begin to pop.

- Add the cumin, turmeric, onion powder, coriander, cinnamon, garlic and chiles. Cook gently for 3-4 minutes to lightly brown the garlic. Add the vegetables, sugar and salt and cook on medium-high until the vegetables are hot.

- Put the yogurt in your serving bowl along with the raisins. Add the hot vegetables and stir to combine. Add pepper to taste. Serve immediately.


kat said...

wow, sounds good & I always trust an Alton Brown recipe. I'm with you on adding the raisins.

Lynn said...

My husband is all about curries. One of his favorite things to do is to peruse the aisles of our local asian market looking for things to put in his curries. This looks exactly like something he would love.

Vera said...

Yummy looking dish!

glamah16 said...

I see more curries for us this winter too. Its never boring to the taste buds.

Jen said...

This one was so good I'm thinking about making it again this week. Thanks for all your comments on it.