Nothing intimidates me more than recipes that require obscure ingredients – or at least ingredients I can’t find at a chain grocery store. Hence my hesitation to cook Indian food. No, I do not have the time or energy to track down the rare spice blend and no, I definitely do not have (nor want) a mortar and pestle in my studio apartment.
I was really craving something flavorful, creamy and spicy this week but did a fair amount of searching and couldn’t find a low-key Indian recipe. So, I decided to create my own, without referencing any recipes. Which means this could have gone terribly wrong. But somehow, as the scents filled my apartment (and stuck to my sheets, furniture, clothes, hair…) I realized that I had created exactly what I was craving, sans scary ingredients! It worked!
This recipe made five servings of sweet, savory, spicy, creamy vegetable stew. I’ll be enjoying mine with riced broccoli all week!
3 large carrots, stems removed and washed
2 – 3 cups worth of chopped green beans, stems removed and washed
1 large sweet onion
1 cup of peas
1 inch cube of peeled ginger, minced
1 red pepper, stem removed and de-seeded
3/4 cup of cashews soaked overnight in nut milk (I chose almond milk*)
2 oz of vegetable broth
Spices: 1/4 tsp mild curry powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric, a few shakes of cayenne and cumin, salt
*At one point I suggest you add a bit more liquid – I used almond milk and water. Either or both are fine.
Chop carrots into medallions or half medallions. Chop sweet onion and julienne the red pepper (slice into thin strips).
Add a few drops of oil to a large pot over medium heat and toss in the minced ginger and onions, sauteing until the onions are glassy.
Add in the vegetables. I cooked down my carrots and green beans first, then added in a cup of frozen peas and red peppers. Saute for about 15 minutes, while you make your broth.
To make the broth, combine the cashews (and the milk in which they soaked) in a blender. Add your curry powder, turmeric, cumin and cayenne as well as the vegetable broth and blend everything together.
Pour the cashew broth into your pot. Add a 1/2 cup of almond milk or warm water to the pot and stir everything together. Saute for a few minutes, then taste and add salt as desired.
Let stew for another 15 minutes and serve warm over rice. Garnish with coconut, raisins and cashews as desired.