Monday, March 30, 2015

Sweet Vegetable Curry with Za'atar Roasties

All week Hub has been requesting Indian for dinner so last night I decided to appease him. So glad I did because this meal was amazing! Serves 2 hungry people ;)

Ingredients for Za'atar Roasties
5-6 roasting potatoes • za'atar spice • olive oil • sea salt

Start by preparing your potatoes first. Preheat your oven to 200C and get a large pot of water boiling on the stove. Peel and roughly chop your taters into chunks, then toss them into the water once it's boiling. Cook them until soft and you are able to pierce them easily with a fork. Strain your potatoes and jostle them lightly around the strainer until the edges are roughed up and kind of mushy. Lightly oil a baking tray and lay out your taters. Generously season them with crushed sea salt and za'atar spice. Then drizzle a bit of olive oil on the potatoes and whack them into the oven for about 30 minutes. 

Za'atar is a mix of Mediterranean spices and my friend Molly gave me a massive bag and mentioned that one of my favorite chefs Ottolenghi uses it in his recipes. I don't think I could find this in Rio, but here's a simple recipe by Bon Appetit if you can't find it locally.

Ingredients for Sweet Vegetable Curry
coconut oil • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds • 1/4 inch cinnamon stick • 1/4 tsp allspice • 2 cardamon pods • 1 red chili finely chopped • 1 medium onion chopped • 1 tsp ginger paste • 1 tsp garlic paste • 1 can chopped tomatoes • 1 can of coconut milk • 1 veggie bouillon cube • 200ml water • 2 tsp chili powder • 1/4 tbsp turmeric powder • 1 tsp curry powder • 1 tsp coriander powder • 1 tsp cumin powder  • 1 large sweet potato cubed • 1 large carrot thinly sliced • 1 green bell pepper • 1/4 cup of golden raisins • 1/4 cup cashew halves

Last year I took an Indian cooking class at Rashmy's Kitchen and this is a modification of one of her delicious recipes, which I cook all the time. First we are going to create a masala paste by heating up a large deep pot with a little bit of coconut oil over a med-low heat. Add the cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, allspice, cardamon pods and red chili and sauté them until the spices become fragrant and the cumin seeds crackle in the oil. Then add in the chopped onions, garlic paste and ginger paste and sauté until golden brown. The garlic and ginger pastes are easily made with a blender by taking each peeled product and blitzing it with a little bit of water. 

Remove the onion mix from the stove and puree it in a blender, adding a bit of water if necessary. This is your masala paste. Add it back into your pot with a little bit of coconut oil and fry over a medium heat for a few minutes. Then add in the chopped tomatoes, coconut milk, veggie bouillon cube, water, chili powder, turmeric powder, curry powder, coriander powder and cumin powder.

Give that a stir and add in the sweet potato, carrots, bell peppers, raisins and cashews. Bring the curry to a boil and then down to simmer and let cook uncovered for approximately 20 minutes or until the carrots and potatoes are fully cooked. Check in on your roasties, they should be crisping up nicely and be done around the same time as your curry. And voila!

This was so good especially the roasted potatoes. My god that za'atar spice was amazing. I added lightly steamed broccoli on the side to balance out the meal and it was the perfect end to a perfect Sunday.

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