Cooking good food in quarantine
By Elias Canterbury, Reporter
Fall is the time of year for warm and comforting meals. In America, that usually means things like stews and chilis, but recently I have found that curries satisfy that craving perfectly. They are extremely versatile, easy to prepare, and a welcome departure from the usual range of flavors available in American and Western cuisine. Once it has all been put together, the warmth from the spice makes for a satisfying and perfect meal for chilly weather.
This recipe is a standard tomato-based curry, which pairs well with most vegetables that are in season during the fall. The green curry paste that is used can be used in any curry for spice and warmth.
It is important to note that curries include a pretty wide range of ingredients, so it is generally alright to omit an ingredient due to shortages or personal preference. If using the recommended butternut squash as the vegetable, add it with the tomatoes and be prepared to cook it a bit longer.
For the paste:
7 cloves of garlic
1 large chunk of ginger (about an inch or so)
4 shallots (red onion will work in place of shallots)
4 teaspoons turmeric
8 serrano peppers
A few Thai chili peppers, depending on spice preference
For the curry:
1 ½ tablespoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon oil (or more depending on pan size)
1 teaspoon ghee (if you do not have ghee or want to make it, use a neutral oil here and add butter later)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 cardamom pods
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
¼ cup curry paste
32 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 ½ cup chickpeas
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon garam masala
Whatever vegetable you want (butternut squash is in season and works well in this dish)
- If you want to serve this over rice (I really recommend it), get that started first. If you do not have a rice cooker, take a saucepan with about a cup and a half of rice in it, put enough water to double the height of the rice, and put it over high heat until it boils. Once it boils turn it to low and cover it for about 40 minutes or until done.
Put all of the ingredients for the paste in a food processor and blend it until it is a paste.
- Over low heat, heat enough oil to very lightly coat the bottom of a large pan.
Add the garlic, ghee, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and cardamom seeds and temper these in the pan until they start to get a bit toasted and then add the mustard seeds. You should hear the mustard pop a lot.
- Turn the burner up to medium and add the curry paste and cook it until it really starts to smell strongly of all the vegetables you added caramelizing.
- Add your tomatoes, chickpeas, salt, and garam masala.
- When it comes to a boil, throw a lid on it, throw in whatever vegetable you are using, and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Serve it over rice and enjoy your curry!