BY SHOSHANA ISAACSON—THE OUT OF TOWN COOK
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 or 2 Tbsp organic coconut oil /ghee/oil of your choice
1 cup full-fat coconut milk
¾ cup vegetable broth
1 thumb of fresh ginger, minced
2-6 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium serrano chili, minced
2 medium red bell peppers, diced
3-4 Tbsp garam masala
½-1 tsp cumin seeds
½-1 head cauliflower, divided into florets
1 medium turnip, cubed
1 medium to large potato, cubed
1 large or 2 medium carrots, peeled and cubed
1 medium zucchini, cubed (see note on eggplant and zucchini prep)
1 medium eggplant, cubed
1 white or yellow onion, diced
Optional: 1 or 2 Tbsp peanut powder (this will thicken and add richness & protein to the curry)
Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan/wok/stockpot and add the garam masala and cumin seeds, gently heating them until they begin to crackle. The idea here is to infuse the oil and gently roast the spices. Have the rest of your ingredients ready to throw in right away. Add the tomato puree, coconut milk, ginger, garlic, chili, salt, and pepper, and mix thoroughly. Give your spicy, coconutty mixture a hearty sniff and then throw in the onions, prepared zucchini, and eggplant. Add the remaining vegetables and the broth. Cover and cook over medium to medium high heat until veggies are cooked through. Add the optional peanut powder to thicken. Serve with fragrant rice – basmati, jasmine, or gingered brown rice.
You can use any variety of vegetables that you like –add string beans, peas, snow peas, sugar snap peas, garbanzo beans, broccoli – the possibilities are endless.
When cooking zucchini and eggplant, you do need to prep them before cooking or they will get mushy. Cube as directed and lay out over a cloth or paper towel lined colander. Generously sprinkle with salt. Set aside over a bowl or sink to drain for about 15 minutes. Using the cloth, squeeze out all of the excess water from the zucchini and/or eggplant. Rinse with cold water, pat dry and then proceed with the recipe. This removal of water from the vegetable will help it to remain firm in the stew.