Big Veggie Curry

Big Veggie Curry is what I call a foundation dish.  It can be eaten “as is” over rice, which makes a delicious low fat meal.  Or you can add various things to it, such as shrimp or chicken. I freeze it in serving size containers to have on hand when I have a bit of leftovers that might mix in well. This curry is also a whatever-you-have-in-the-house recipe.  I often make it when I am cleaning out the refrigerator and discover odd and ends of vegetable, or perhaps a bag of vegetables in the freezer that is getting old. One of the times I make this curry is when I’m about to travel  long enough for vegetables to go bad when I am gone. I make up a pot of it, divide it in serving size containers, and freeze it, thus not wasting the produce and having something inviting to eat when I get back.

In many ways, this curry is more like the curries my neighbors in Mumbai made on a daily basis – less a formal recipe and more a way of cooking, each cook adding her own touch to the process. Women would come back from the bazaar across the railroad tracks from our apartment building carrying a tote bag full of whatever was fresh in the market and combine it with onions and garlic and the spices that were the staples of the Mumbai kitchen.  The beauty of this curry is that it doesn’t require specific vegetables or fruit. I sometimes add 1/2 a cup of raisins or some sliced peeled apples.  This time I had half a bag of frozen cranberries left from an earlier dish, so I threw them in too.  It was delicious. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before.

This is not a “hot” curry, although you could add a couple of peeled, seeded chopped jalapenos to it, or some red pepper.  I tend to want to add heat when I am serving it if I’m in the mood, with a few drops of hot pepper sauce.

Big Veggie Curry

I Tablespoon Canola oil
2 teaspoons black mustard seed (optional, but it tastes more authentic with it)
1 teaspoon cumin seed
2 Tablespoons good quality garam masala or curry powder
1 big onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves of garlic
2 cups of low fat vegetable broth (you could also use chicken broth, but then it wouldn’t really be “veggie” curry)
1 15 ounce can chopped tomatoes, undrained
8-10 cups vegetables, cut into about 2 inch pieces (you can substitute up to 2 cups of fresh fruit or 1/2 cup of dried fruit)
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add the mustard seed and cook until you hear the seeds start popping. Add the cumin seed and garam masala and cook for about another minute, or until the spices smell fragrant. Lower the heat to medium and add the onion and garlic.  Cook until the onion is soft, stirring occasionally.  Don’t let it burn. Add a little of the broth if you need to to keep it from burning.  Add the broth and tomatoes. Add the vegetables (and fruit if you are using it.)  Bring to a boil, cover, and lower the heat. Cook for 1–2 hours until the vegetables are tender. The timing will depend on what vegetables you use. Stir in the cilantro and cook for 2 more minutes. This makes about 8 servings at 2 grams of fat/serving.

This is served over brown rice mix, with Greek yogurt on the side. My vegetables this time were potatoes, cauliflower, a box of frozen green beans, a bag of frozen mixed vegetables, and half a bag of frozen cranberries.


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I have lost 200 pounds. I did not do it through surgery – I don’t like knives and needles – or by joining a club, vigorous exercise, or rigorous dieting. I did it by gourmet cooking. To be precise, by cooking low fat, really delicious food. I love to cook as much as I love to eat. Food magazines are some of my favorite reading. I would feel deprived if I couldn’t have the sensuous experience of good food crossing my lips. This blog is about my perpetual feast, my passionate love of food, with recipes, photos, and occasional advice and principles that I have learned along the way.

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