Two nights ago, shortly after dinner, I had a lovely chat with a friend. A few moments into the conversation, she asked me, “Are you sick?”
“No,” I responded, confused. “Do I sound sick?”
“You sorta do…” she replied.
Huh. I thought to myself for a second, and then inspiration struck.
“Oh! Actually, I had a really spicy curry for dinner. You know, the kind where your nose starts running so badly, you just wipe your face with your sleeve, and you’re trying to talk but your tongue is on fire? That’s probably why I sound so nasally – I had an acute curry attack.”
We laughed and continued to chat, while I rummaged through the freezer for a popsicle.
I didn’t think much about it until I got on the phone with another friend, who also asked, “Are you sick?”
“No…,” I responded. For a brief moment I was confused, and then –
“Oh my God, I had a really spicy curry for dinner,” I explained, “and I spent about 10 minutes having the contents of my nasal cavities running all over my face, so I think this is the after-effect.”
Who knew? I officially have an I-just-ate-curry voice.
We continued to discuss Indian food in general, and since she lives in Eastern Canada, how it’s so hard to find the delicious, authentic stuff that hasn’t been dumbed-down for Canadian palettes. Thankfully, here in Toronto, it’s quite easy to encounter amazing ethnic food of the highest quality – there’s an Asian market on every corner, and Halal Meat Shops are more common in Mississauga than 7-11’s.
(I kid you not: a 7-11 on a nearby, busy intersection just closed down and became an Indian grocery store. Business is booming!)
Now I know that not everyone has access to the appropriate ingredients for an authentic Vegetarian Korma, so I’m pleased to share this recipe that incorporates ingredients you can find everywhere. Some may say it’s one of those recipes dumbed-down for Canadian palettes – but I’m sorry; I just don’t have two hours on a weekday night to grind my own spices and mix my own masala. And, made as is, it’s actually quite tasty.
Darling husband cooked this exotic dish for dinner on Tuesday night, and even though our house still smells like Gerard Street, I can’t wait to devour the leftovers! An oh-so-simple recipe that will cure your curry craving in t-minus 30 minutes flat – plus, it’s a wonderful way to introduce vegetarian options to your weekly menu.
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
4 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 medium-sized potatoes, cubed
4 small carrots, cubed
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced
3 tablespoons ground unsalted cashews
1 (4 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 bunch fresh cilantro for garnish
Parboil cubed potatoes for about 10 minutes or until just fork-tender. Drain; set aside.
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and cook until tender. Mix in ginger and garlic, and continue cooking 1 minute. Mix potatoes, carrots, jalapeno, cashews, and tomato sauce. Season with salt and curry powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes to allow flavours to mingle.
Stir peas, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, coconut milk and yogurt into the skillet. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer an additional 15 minutes. Garnish with cilantro. Serves 4.