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Heat things up a bit with a hearty curry stew

Warm, one-pot, nutrient dense and flavourful. That’s what we want at this time of year. So last week Jody came home to find just that simmering on her stove.  A firefighter who can really man the stove at home, Jody’s partner brought together vegetables including zucchini and eggplant along with chickpeas and Indian spices. Coconut milk rounded out the spices in the dish, a winter vegetable curry.
Although some may be a little reluctant about the dish at first (without meat being the center of attention), in the end the out-of-this-world flavours and creamy texture and heartiness make up for any lack of meat.

This is a great recipe for those who want to start experimenting with spices. Making a curry powder from scratch is a good start and allows you to play with different flavours. You can find all of the spices in bulk and buy small quantities, as you need them.

Tips to make this phenomenal stew include cutting the vegetables as evenly as possibly, to ensure their even texture after cooking as well as adding them in order from hardest to softest.

Heat oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven and sauté onion until golden; add garlic and ginger and cook 1-2 minutes longer;

Winter Vegetable Curry

  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 medium onion, julienned
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • One-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • (more if you enjoy the heat)
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seed
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2-3 medium carrots, sliced into rounds
  • 3-4 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice
  • 4-5 small japanense eggplant, cut into rounds
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 2 red bell pepper, or choose your favourite colour, diced
  • 2 medium green zucchini, cut into rounds
  • 1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Lower heat and add all spices (cayenne, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cloves, mustard and cinnamon) and cook until fragrant. Add a little more canola oil if your pan is too dry;

Add tomato paste, cooking 2-3 minutes to caramelize (bring out sugars in the tomatoes);

Add carrots, potatoes, eggplant and chicken; cook until tender at a low simmer (medium-low heat),
about 30 minutes. Add peppers, zucchini, chickpeas and coconut milk and cook a further 15-20 minutes;

Taste and check for seasoning;

Enjoy with basmati or brown rice.

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