Thursday, October 15, 2015

South Indian Vegetable Curry

One reason I enjoy on-line cooking clubs is that it is an incentive to try new things, especially the ones I've been meaning to try for a while. And "by a while" I mean for a long time -- months, maybe years.

I recently discovered I Heart Cooking Clubs or IHCC. Mostly, they feature one chef for about six months. We just started cooking our way through Ellie Krieger's repertoire of healthy recipes.  Every so often IHCC tries a new theme. Maybe it's for the variety; maybe it's a chance to revisit a previously featured (and beloved) chef. This week, we are cooking recipes from Nigella Lawson. 

I bought Nigella Kitchen a few years ago. I have enjoyed reading her essays about home cooking and the kitchen. I can relate to her relaxed attitude towards cooking and I love the variety of cuisines and styles of cooking. I've thought a lot about the many mouth watering recipes in the book, but have only managed to use two of the recipes in the book. That is why I am happy that IHCC gave me the kick in the a... I mean, the opportunity to pick a new recipe from the book and actually cook it.

I chose South Indian Vegetable Curry.   You can find the recipe on page 154 of Nigella Kitchen or here.   I don't often make curries and I don't use much coconut milk or tamarind paste in my cooking, so this was my chance to try something new.  My husband and I are also trying to eat healthier, which means more vegetables. 

Basically, the recipe is really easy to make. There is a lot of chopping, but nothing complicated. I made a few modifications to the recipe. I like a little heat, but my husband likes very little to no heat, so I held back on the red pepper flakes and used only half of a jalapeno pepper. The recipe lists 5 kinds of vegetables, but you can change the combination any way you want.  I would have like to use green beans as called for in the recipe, but the green beans at the grocery looked kind of sorry, so I used mushrooms instead. My husband doesn't like cauliflower that much, so I halved the amount and threw in potatoes as well.  I served the curry over couscous.

I had "wet tamarind seedless" from the local Asian market. It had the consistency of paste, so I guess it was the right stuff. It didn't seem very seedless though, so I pulled my punch and only added a half tablespoon.  In retrospect, maybe I should have done a little more research or added more in.  At any rate, the taste of the tamarind was subtle at best.

Overall, I would say this was a success. My husband liked it and so did I. Next time, in addition to adding in the full tablespoon of tamarind paste, I'd probably add less liquid. You can't tell from the photo, but the dish was very soupy.  My photo  makes the dish look quite dull. I guess in this case,  picture is not worth a thousand words, but this dish is tasty and filling.


  1. Hooray for using your Nigella Kitchen book (I did too)! I love the aroma of coconut milk and chopping veggies is one of my favorite kitchen tasks so I need to really make this recipe.

    We are trying to eat more veggies too and I think this is a great veggie meal. Looks delicious served over the couscous! Thanks for joining us:)

  2. Yay for trying new things! I love coconut-based curries and I especially love potato in my curry so I would have added them in as you did. Tamarind is an fun and interesting ingredient to play around with. ;-)

  3. Like Deb, I love coconut-based curries, and I always keep a jar of tamarind paste in the fridge for adding to dishes such as this. I have yet to added Nigella Kitchen to my cookbook collection, but if there are plenty of dishes like this one I think this book might find itself on my shelves very soon. Welcome to the group btw - it's nice to have you cooking with us.

  4. I like your adventurous approach trying new and unfamiliar ingredients. It was not too long ago I started using tamarind paste. Now it is a staple item. Great to have you cooking along!

  5. I rarely cook vegetable curries and I'm pretty sure I've never seen this recipe from Nigella before. Your vegetable curry looks good enough for me to want to attempt this. I'm sure it tastes even better! :)

  6. Hi Judy,
    Your curry dish looks delicious! I like it that you've added potaotes, I would too! I have this book of Nigella's and totally love this book! Great to have you cooking with us at IHCC! :)

  7. I adore curry. This looks just perfect for a lunch just for me one day.