This is what a Monday night looks like in our house.
Lots of vegetables tied together with some bold flavors. It’s about treating yourself right.
The weekend is my favorite time for trying new restaurants, eating ice cream for dessert (or lunch) and having a couple of glasses of wine. All of these wonderful things mean that I sometimes don’t get the ideal amount of vegetables from Friday night to Sunday night. (Or if I do, they’re accompanied by their bffs bacon and cheese.)
On Mondays, I aim for a vegetable top-up. I like to center meals around veggies with things like soups, salads and stir fries.
Curries are one my favorite ways to incorporate a lot of plant life into my Monday (or any day) – you get tons of flavor and spice with a combination of a few pantry items. They’re often vegan too, which is just a bonus. (Or useful, if you find yourself in a situation where you need to feed a vegan!)
With the help of jarred curry paste, my Thai curries are usually a success. But my Indian curries are always a little more…interesting.
I’ve tried a bunch of recipes using dry spice combinations and EVERY TIME I freak out within the first 15 minutes, thinking I’ve screwed it all up somehow. It’s almost always fine by the time everything’s cooked properly. What the heck was I so worried about back there?
I finally realized that Indian curries are just late bloomers. They need a little extra time for all of the flavors to develop and come together in the way they’re supposed to. Let them simmer or sit for a while and they’ll come good – with the warming, complex flavors that you were looking for. No need to freak. Leftovers get even better too. Another bonus!
Feel free to add or substitute whatever vegetables you’d like or toss in some chickpeas, tofu or shrimp for a protein boost. Curries are endlessly adaptable and a great way of making your daily (or weekend) dose of veggies full of flavor.
South Indian Vegetable Curry
adapted from Bon Appetit
- 3 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 2-inch-long 1-inch-diameter piece peeled fresh ginger (about 2 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons grape seed oil
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 serrano chile, seeded, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons (packed) golden brown sugar
- 4 curry leaves
- 2 whole green cardamom pods
- 1/2 cup coconut cream
- 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3/4 cup diced canned tomatoes, drained
- 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2-3 large handfuls of fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro