The Fine Cooking magazine from October/November has a nice feature on cauliflower. It includes ways to prep and prepare it along with a few recipes. This tart is one of those recipes. This curry is another. I have a thing for coconut and curry, and so I was drawn to this recipe immediately. I also love to find satisfying vegetarian dishes that we can work in to our meal schedule. My husband didn’t miss the meat at all. This one is a keeper.
There is quite a bit of chopping to be done, but it can all be done in advance and refrigerated until you’re ready to cook. Once that is taken care of, this dish comes together easily. You’re looking at 45 minutes cooking time in all, but more than half of that is simply simmering time. Thanks to that simmering time your house will smell amazing. The only downside there is that it will smell that way for hours, and waking up to the smells of curry you ate the night before isn’t amazing. But it is worth it!
This reheats really well, so it’s a good choice for those of you cooking for one or two. This will feed you for a couple of meals, and that’s definitely something I look for in a recipe these days. I love leftover night.
The spices are warm and subtle. The first taste is sweet and then the heat hits you at the end but is still more warm than spicy. I didn’t have black mustard seed, so I didn’t use them and I thought this was still wonderful. The coconut milk tones down the heat and adds sweetness as well as welcomed creaminess. I used a whole jalapeno with a few seeds and it wasn’t overwhelming at all. If you want it spicy make sure to use more of the seeds and membrane or even add a second jalapeno.
The garnishes are necessary, in my opinion. The yogurt is a nice cool contrast to the warm curry, the cilantro is the perfect herb to compliment the spices and the cashews add richness and crunch. We ate this with warm naan which is perfect for soaking up the sauce. Serving this on top of rice would also be delicious (and stretch it a bit). I hope you try this dish! My mouth is watering right now as I think about it and I’m considering getting some out of the fridge…and it’s 8 in the morning. So you know it’s good.
2 tablespoons of butter + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (use ghee if you have it)
1 onion, cut into large dice
2 red bell peppers (you could also use orange or yellow)
1 jalapeno, chopped fine (as many or as few seeds as you’d like)
1 2-inch piece of ginger, chopped fine (about 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoons cumin seed
1 cinnamon stick (2 inches)
1 teaspoon salt
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup raisins
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 can coconut milk
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 head cauliflower, cut into 1-2 inch florets
fresh chopped cilantro
naan or rice for serving
Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, peppers, jalapeno, ginger, curry, cumin, cinnamon stick and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften and brown a bit.
Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes, water and raisins. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.
Stir in the coconut milk and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat and cook until thickened, 10-15 minutes.
Add in the cauliflower and mix together. Cover. keep the heat on low and cook until cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes.
Remove the cinnamon stick. Season with salt and lemon juice. Serve with yogurt, cashews and cilantro.
I get one cooking magazine in the mail. Fine Cooking. I’ve mentioned it more than once (at least a dozen times probably) on the blog. It’s most definitely my favorite cooking magazine. It doesn’t have loads of content, but what it does have is good content and not a lot of ads. Anyway, buy a copy sometime and check it out.
This recipe for chickpea and spinach curry is from the latest issue. While doing meal planning for this past week I was at a loss for Tuesday’s dinner. So I grabbed the magazine and started flipping through it. This one stood out to me right away. I love the flavors in Indian food, but it often takes a lot of time and ingredients to make good Indian food at home. This recipe allows you to take some short cuts but still wind up with a very flavorful and satisfying meal with just enough spice.
Our Tuesday nights get a little crazy, no matter how hard I try I always feel like I am rushing to get dinner ready or the house picked up. This meal fit in perfectly with our busy night (although I failed in some ways this past week and we were still rushed!). It comes together incredibly quickly and cooks up in a flash. It’s full of good-for-you vegetables and fills you up without being heavy. But your house will smell like curry for a few days. That’s the only downside. Ben came home the next day from work and said, “Indian again?” to which I replied “No, spaghetti and meatballs.” which I’d spent all day cooking. I was sure it would’ve masked the curry, but no.
You can serve this as a side dish or as a vegetarian main, which is what I did. The recipe below serves 4 as a side and 2 as a main. It’s easily doubled or tripled, so can suit whatever your needs are.
I skipped out on the yogurt the first time around, but ate it with leftovers and loved the creamy, coolness of it next to the spice. Definitely serve this with naan if you can, but I am sure it would also be nice on a bed of white rice.
If you don’t like cilantro or are serving this to people who don’t, leave it out of the dish. You can serve fresh cilantro separately and let people decide how much, if any, they want.
Quick Chickpea and Spinach Curry
From Fine Cooking
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/8 tsp. cayenne (optional, I left it out)
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 14-1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
6-7 ounces baby spinach
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional, mix in or on the side)
1/2 cup Greek yogurt (optional for serving)
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add in the onion, ginger, curry powder and garam masala and cook for a few minutes, until the onion is softened. Add in the garlic and cook for one minute more.
Stir in the chickpeas, tomatoes, and salt to taste (start with 1/2 teaspoon and add no more than 1 teaspoon)
Add in the spinach, a cup or so at a time, letting is cook down just a bit before adding more to keep you pan from getting overloaded.
Once the spinach has cooked down and is wilted, season with more salt if needed, cover the pan and turn off the heat. Let it sit for about 5 minutes.
You can stir in the cilantro to the dish now if desired or serve it on the side.
This is a great meal if you’re looking for a nice alternative to chicken noodle soup. This hearty chicken and rice soup is flavorful, loaded with veggies and has a nice crisp flavor thanks to the fresh herbs and lemon juice added at the end. The curry isn’t overwhelming, but gives the soup a nice spice that makes it a unique chicken soup. It’s great with the herbs and lemon.
We really enjoyed what was most likely the last hot soup we’ll have for a while. I have a feeling that the weather is just not going to get cool enough for soup until October or November. Oh, Houston. If you live somewhere that is still experiencing or expecting a cool and rainy day, take advantage of it and give this soup a try.
I used this recipe from the Food Network kitchens as my starting point for this soup and then changed a few things to create a soup that had more of the things I like. I’m sure it’s still great without the changes I made. I added more carrots and celery, more broth, more rice, pureed only some of the soup instead of all of the rice mixture, added spinach and put lemon juice right in the soup instead of serving it with lemon wedges. I also changed the cooking method a bit by doing it all in one pot instead of cooking the soup base and rice separately.
Since this was my first time to make this and I was kind of figuring it out as I went, I didn’t measure exactly how much broth and water I used. Luckily, you can add as much or as little liquid as you want near the end of the cooking to get the consistency you want in this soup. When I reheated this soup last night for dinner I added a little more broth since it had thickened up overnight in the fridge. Soups are so forgiving, one of the many reasons I love them.
To make getting this meal on the table quicker and easier cook the chicken ahead of time and refrigerate it, or shred a rotisserie chicken. If you do this, you will still need all the chicken broth and water called for below. Slice the onion and chop the carrots and celery and store them in baggies or containers, the onion should be in its own container since it goes in before the carrots and celery. You can chop the herbs and store them as well, but I think they lose some of their flavor if they are chopped too far in advance. I’d recommend chopping them while the rice is cooking, but I doubt there would be much difference in flavor if they sat in the fridge for a few hours, just make sure to store them in covered containers to keep them from drying out.
Curried Chicken and Rice Soup
Adapted from Food Network Magazine
2 bone-in chicken breast halves, skin removed
5-6 cups low sodium chicken broth, divided
4-5 cups water, divided
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
kosher salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch coins
4 large celery stalks, cut 1/2 inch slices (you may want to halve the stalks if they are very large)
1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup white rice
3-4 ounces baby spinach leaves (left whole or roughly chopped)
3 tablespoons chopped dill
3 tablespoons chopped mint
1 large lemon, juiced
In a large pot, heat 3 cups of water and 3 cups of broth over medium heat. Once liquid starts to simmer, add chicken breasts, a pinch of kosher salt, peppercorns and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Remove chicken from broth and let cool until you can handle the chicken and shred it. Strain the bay leaves and peppercorns out of the broth and set the broth aside.
In a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the onions, sugar and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions begin to soften. Add carrots and celery and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
Add curry powder, stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the rice, stir and cook for about 2 minutes, then add 3 cups of the reserved broth. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.
After rice is cooked, take about 2 cups of the soup and puree it in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add it back to the soup along with the chicken. At this point you can add more liquid to achieve the consistency you’d like in your soup. I added equal amount of broth and water, probably a cup of each to start with, but you can do what looks right to you. More broth for a soupier soup, less broth for a more stew-like soup.
With heat on medium low, stir in spinach and herbs. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes until spinach is wilted down.
Stir in lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.