Tag Archives: coconut milk

Recipe: Black-Eyed Pea Curry

29 Oct

Part of the Indian meal I prepared recently for friends with divergent dietary preferences included this Black-Eyed Pea Curry. It answered a number of needs: it is vegetarian (vegan, actually) and is an excellent source of protein. And it goes nicely with drier, less saucy dishes such as the Spicy Indian Eggplant with Tomatoes. Not that dry dishes can’t be saucy in their own ways–that eggplant was quite a palate teaser. This dish, with mellow coconut milk, is a nice counterpoint.

Black-Eyed Pea Curry
Serves 4-6

2 (15-oz.) cans black-eyed peas, drained
2 tbsp. canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tsp. ground cumin
1.5 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1/4 tsp. cayenne or sprinkle of chili flakes
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
1 c. hot water
1/2 tsp. salt, or one small vegetable bouillon cube
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 c. canned coconut milk
1 tbsp. lemon juice (or to taste)
2 tbsp. minced cilantro leaves

Preparation
1. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat and sauté the onion until it starts turning golden brown at the edges. Add the next 6 ingredients (through the cayenne/chili flakes) and stir for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for a couple more minutes, mashing the tomatoes with the back of a slotted spoon until they disintegrate.
2. Add the black-eyed peas, the water, the salt/bouillon cube, and the sugar. Turn heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer uncovered for another 10 minutes, or until liquid has reduced slightly.
3. Add the lemon juice, cook for one more minute, then sprinkle with the cilantro just before serving.

Recipe is adapted from 5 spices, 50 dishes by Ruta Kahate.

Recipe: Mulligatawny Soup (Curried Rice Soup)

11 Dec

What do you do when 1) you have omnivores and vegans coming to dinner, and 2) it’s cold outside and you want something warm and filling that everyone will enjoy? Well, you could offer your guests a deconstructed curried rice soup to suit every palate (and dietary preference). Mulligatawny–with or without chicken–is another example of cross-cultural fusion: an Anglo-Indian soup with a name that means “pepper water.”  And like many other hybrids, there are infinite variations on the theme; this is just one version that can be served two ways.

When I am making this for the family, I prepare it with chicken broth and chicken as in the photo below. But it is just as good (and more versatile) made with vegetable broth and served with a variety of accompaniments on the side, so guests can add the ingredients they prefer.

Note: The instructions below are for making the soup to suit both omnivorous and vegan guests. If not meant to be vegan, the soup can be made with chicken broth and chicken; cook the chicken in the pot before you cook the onions, celery, and carrots. Remove the chicken from the pot when it is no longer pink, add the onions, celery, and carrots to the pot and proceed with the recipe as indicated below; return chicken to soup along with the apple and rice.

Mulligatawny Soup (Curried Rice Soup–with or without Chicken)

Soup Base

3 tbsp. canola oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 stalks celery, finely diced
2 carrots, grated
3 tbsp. flour
1.5 tbsp. curry powder
10-12  c.  vegetable broth (or water and equivalent bouillon cubes)
1 green apple, peeled, cored, and grated
1 c. rice (I usually use white jasmine rice, but have also made this with brown basmati)
salt and lots of freshly ground pepper to taste
1 (13.5-oz.) can lite coconut milk

Accompaniments
[Choose as many as desired and serve each separately alongside the soup]

2-3 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and cubed
1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas/garbanzos, simmered in their liquid until warm, then drained
8 0z. mushrooms, sliced and cut in half, sauteed in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper
2 zucchinis, sliced and cut into quarters, prepared same as mushrooms
1 small head broccoli, cut into small florets and steamed
handful baby spinach, raw

Preparation

1. Saute onion, celery, and carrots in oil in large soup pot until soft and golden. Add flour and curry powder, and cook 5 minutes. Add broth (start with 10 c.), mix well, and bring to a boil. Simmer 30 minutes.
2. Add apple, rice, salt, and pepper, and simmer 15-20 minutes more, or until rice is done. Add more broth as needed to maintain a fairly soupy consistency.
3. Just before serving, add coconut milk and adjust seasonings to taste.
4. Serve soup in bowls and allow your guests to add any of the accompaniments they desire.