This is one of the vegetarian curry recipes that my partner, Pete learned to cook as a newly single guy.
Pete is the quintessential non-cook. As a software developer, cooking stresses him, perhaps because cooking isn't quite so formulaic. But once he gets a recipe down, he makes the most delectable meals ever!
The main thing you need to know about curry is that it's all about the spices. So here are some things to note about curry powder.
Curry gets stale and loses its flavor when it's been sitting in the grocery store and in your house, giving food a flat taste.
The best curry powder is one where you grind the spices yourself, minutes before cooking.
The spices listed here are the ones that Pete normally uses, but you can learn to make curry to your own taste.
There's a simple trick.
Go to your grocery store and grab your favorite curry powder, or just pick a random one if you don't have a favorite.
Take note of all the ingredients listed on the label. Actually, all that curry powder is really is just a blend of spices.
Then go to an Indian grocery store and purchase those same spices (unground, whole seeds that is). Those are the spices you will use to make your own homemade curry powder.
You will likely find is that it'll be a trial and error process, probably cooking curry a few times before you settle on the right proportions that bring out your best flavor.
And don't be afraid to test your curry's limits by adding your own spices. The only rule you must not break? - Just be sure they're always freshly ground, with the exception of a few such as turmeric.
Note: Prepare everything before you start cooking. Once you get started, things happen fast.
Put the unground dry spices in a coffee grinder (I have a coffee grinder just for spices) and set them to grind until the automatic stop. The resulting mixture will be about 1/2 cup. Add the chili powder and the turmeric to the mixture and set aside.
Sauté the onions, garlic and ginger in olive oil on high heat for about 1 minute - or until the onions start to change to a very light golden color
Pour in all the spices and mix. Cook for another minute, stirring. You want cook the spices enough to bring out the flavor but you don't want to burn them.
Add the coconut milk and about 1 cup vegetable broth or water, letting it cook for a little while - about 3 minutes, but don't let it boil yet.
Begin adding vegetables to the mixture, starting with the harder vegetables, such as potatoes and carrots. Let them cook for a while (10 minutes or so) before proceeding the rest of the vegetables.
Mix in the rest of the vegetables and tempeh , then some broth, enough to cover the vegetables. Continue to cook on high medium-high heat until the broth has almost dried up, but not quite. You don't want the curry to be soupy, but not completely dry either. You want it to be a sort of thick wet consistency.
Stir, mix and serve over quinoa or rice.
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