Thursday, February 11, 2016

Vegan Tomato Curry (for a non-vegan curry, just add chicken, beef or lamb)

Here it is, the scrumptious, made-from-scratch, curry I ate for dinner last night! I made it vegan, I am not a vegan, I just care about the ethical treatment of animals enough to reduce my meat/dairy consumption to free range, grass-fed, (expensive) agriculture. In reducing my meat/dairy consumption, I have actually discovered how dirt-cheap some vegan alternatives to meat and dairy are! More on this later...

Curry is a great choice because it it loaded with spices that do all the flavoring without needing a lot of salt. The combination of the tomato, onion, garlic, ginger, and spices are what brings the whole meal together. 

  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 inch of ginger, minced
  • 1 tbls. tomato paste
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 or 4 medium tomatoes
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock
  • 3 medium veggies of your choice (I used carrot, zucchinni, and squash because that's what was in my refrigerator, more traditional curries would use a leafy green, cauliflower, carrot, and sweet potato)
  • 1 1/2 cans of chickpeas (mine's in a container because I soaked and cooked them myself... a HUGE $$$$ saver!)
  • 1 tbls. coconut oil
  • rice - however much you like to eat. 
  • 3 tbls. curry powder
  • Optional spices - cumin, turmeric, cardamom, cayenne pepper. cinnamon.*

*(From top, clockwise) Here I used curry, cumin, turmeric, cardamom, and cayenne. For more heat use more cayenne. I used 2 tbls, curry, 1 tbls. cumin, tumeric, and cardamom, and 1 tsp. cayenne)

1. Get the all the veggies chopped appropriately first. Finely dice your onion and mince garlic and ginger. Dice tomatoes, squash, zucchini, and carrot. 

2. Add coconut oil to the pan, letting it get all melted and hot. Add the onion. Let the onion cook for a couple of minutes. Add in the minced ginger, garlic, spices and tomato paste. Incorporate well while cooking. This important step brings out the most of all these highly flavorful ingredients. IMPORTANT: For non-vegan options, include the meat here. Including meat at this step will bring out the most of the meat flavor as well. 

3. Add the rest of the chopped veggies, and the vegetable stock. Put the lid on and let simmer for 20 minutes. Letting it simmer allows all these veg to break down and become well-incorporated. My vegetable stock is also homemade. Homemade stock is the best kind because you can control the sodium levels. This stock had NO salt added at all, so the whole meal was very low sodium, but still had a ton of flavor.

4. Let it cook away for a while. This would be a good time to prepare the rice. I had some pre-made in the freezer that I thawed out in the oven. I used brown rice since it's the whole-grain version of white rice.  

5. I added the chickpeas after letting it simmer for 20 minutes so that they chickpeas DON'T get too mushy. They are already cooked. Stir and let simmer for another few minutes uncovered to heat up the chickpeas.

6. Serve with rice and enjoy!*

*This rice:curry ratio was a little too much rice for my taste. The rice does bland out the flavor of the curry when eaten together. I would prefer a combination of 2 parts curry:1 part rice.

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