Coconut Curry

I have a great love for Indian food. It’s spicy, tasty and so much of it is vegetarian and vegan. There is a fantastic Indian restaurant here in Ottawa called Mukut and it’s where I go for celebration dinners because it is sooo delicious. They had a kitchen fire there a couple years ago and had to close for months; it was devastating. I’ve eaten a lot of Indian food and tried my hand at making my own, but it never quite measures up to Mukut’s.

That being said, I go The Indian Vegan Kitchen for Christmas and am getting some wonderful results from it. Today I want to introduce you to Nariyal Subji – coconut curry.

Coconut Curry (Nariyal Subji)

Source: The Indian Vegan Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 4 cloves
  • 1-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1-2 green chiles, split lengthwise (I used one and diced it – I’ve had some bad chile burn experiences in the past* and wanted to avoid a similar scenario)
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
  • 1 cup carrot, diced
  • 1 cup potato, diced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 (14 oz) can coconut milk

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Open a slit on the cardamom pods with your nail or a paring knife and add them, the cloves, the cinnamon stick and the chile(s)** and cook for a few seconds until the spices begin to puff. Add onion and fry for a couple minutes until they’re transparent.
  2. Add the green beans, cauliflower, carrot and potatoes. Add water and salt. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  3. Mix cornstarch with 2 tbsp of the coconut milk and set aside. Add the rest of the coconut milk to the curry and bring to a boil. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir until thickened (5 minutes).
  4. Serve over rice and enjoy!

*Oh, chiles. The first time I used them, I didn’t know they could burn your skin on contact (especially the seeds). I ended up with burnt hands that throbbed even when I iced them. All freaking night. I finally googled “chile burns” the next morning and found some suggestions to sooth them. I’ve found soaking the burnt skin in milk as well as rubbing a piece of raw onion over the spot to be effective. I have since burnt my hands again as well as my lip and nose when I touched them with my burnt hands. After more googling, I learned that if you rub oil over your hands before handling the chiles, whatever bit burns can’t stick to your skin. And it works!

**The recipe didn’t specify whether to remove the chiles, cloves, cinnamon and cardomom pods or leave them in. I diced the chiles and left them in and removed the rest of the spices before serving. I figured this would allow the spiciness to get richer, and it worked!

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