Friday, May 5, 2017

Recipe of the Week: Flavorful Vegan Curry

The best homemade curry....ever.

Good morning! So, I recently made the BEST curry I've ever tasted. Well, maybe not *the* best, I have eaten at a few excellent Indian restaurants, but it ranks up there pretty high. I mean, just look at it up there, laying on a bed of basmati rice, sprinkled with green onions, and served with pita bread (*cough*tortilla*cough*)! Doesn't it just look amazing? So, how did I make it? Read on.


Flavorful Vegan Curry


Ingredients:

2 or 3 green onions
2 - 3 pita breads
1 block of frozen tofu, thawed, drained, and cut into cubes *
1 T olive oil
12 oz bag of brussel sprouts, cleaned up and cut in halves
2 small or 1 large head of broccoli cut up into small florets
a large handful of green beans, trimmed and cut in half
2 T olive oil
11 fl oz coconut milk **
3/4 c - 1 c. plain, unsweetened coconut yogurt ***
2/3 c water
3 T mild yellow curry powder
2 t garam masala
2 t rogan josh ****
0.5 - 1 t cayenne pepper (Depending on your heat preference, but I like mine hot, so add as much as you want.)*****
1/2 package vegetable soup mix ******
1/4 c sunflower seeds
1.5 c basmati rice
3 c water



Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Chop up your green onions, cut pita breads into triangles, and set them off to the side.

3. Toss the tofu with 1 T olive oil, spread out onto a baking sheet, and put into the preheated oven. Bake for about 15 minutes, turn over the pieces, and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven.

4. Heat 2 T olive oil in a dutch oven (or high-sided, large frying pan) over medium-high heat.

5. Add broccoli, green beans, and brussel sprouts to pan, toss to coat. Cook for about 10 minutes until the vegetables start to brown, stirring occasionally.

6. Turn the heat down to medium and add the coconut milk, yogurt, 2/3 c water, curry powder, garam masala, rogan josh, cayenne pepper, and soup mix. Stir well, but gently, to incorporate.

7. Cook until mixture boils mildly, add in the tofu and sunflower seeds, turn down to medium-low heat, cover, and simmer until done, about 15-20 minutes. Add another 1/3 c of water if the mixture seems too thick or if you like your sauce a bit thinner.

8. While curry mixture simmers, add 3 c water to a sauce pan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the rice, bring to a boil again, turn heat down to medium, give a quick stir, then cover. Cook until water has absorbed and rice is fluffy, about 15 minutes. Fluff with fork.

9. Serve curry over rice, garnish with green onions, and serve pita on the side.

10. Enjoy!



Notes:

* You don't have to freeze your tofu first, but I prefer the texture of frozen tofu. This recipe will work just as perfectly with fresh tofu. You don't even have to press it first as the oven will dry out and crisp up the tofu at the same time. If it's frozen, you have to squeeze the excess water out gently first.

** Any kind of thick, coconut milk will work here. I personally used So Delicious' Culinary Coconut Milk, but any canned milk will do fine. Just use the whole can: sizes will vary between 11 and 13.5 ounces, no worries.

*** You can use any plain, unsweetened vegan yogurt here.

**** While the other spices are necessary, Rogan Josh is a specific spice not readily found. You can use any Indian spice to replace, or just add a bit more garam masala in there.

***** Cayenne pepper is perfect, but you can use chipotle, red pepper flake, ancho, or even sriracha sauce (or any other hot sauce, but you need to double it if using liquid). As long as you give it some heat!

****** I used Knorr's Vegetable Soup Mix here, but I have used store-brands as well, and they work just as well. If you use a smaller package, like Lipton's brand, you will need to use the whole envelope. Don't skip this item as it takes the flavor of this dish over the top!

Additionally, this recipe is flexible. You can add in your favorite vegetables in place of the ones used here, you can use any rice you'd like, and, if you're a meat eater, you can add your protein of choice instead of tofu...you just need to pre-cook it like I've done with my protein. The sunflower seeds are optional, but are quite delicious in the dish. I added them because I had some in my freezer that I wanted to use up, so you can omit them, but I wouldn't! Conversely, you can use a different nut or seed -- cashews or sesame seeds would both be a nice addition. 

However you cook it, it's delicious, so enjoy!





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