I don’t know why I’m not more familiar with Indian food. It’s not as if there aren’t any people of east Indian or Pakistani descent in Cow Country, because there are. In fact, the largest minority population in my high school graduating class were kids whose parents had immigrated from India or Pakistan!
I had tried Indian food once or twice before, and it was ok, but when the boss wanted to go to a buffet recently for lunch, I was game. I looked forward to being able to try lots of different vegetarian options at once to find something I liked — and I was not disappointed! My favorite dish was vegetables in an orangey-yellowy sauce that included coconut milk. Of course, I read the label with the name of the dish carefully… and then promptly forgot it as soon as I walked out of the restaurant.
But that sweet, salty, and slightly spicy dish stuck with me. I began researching what it could have been, and came up with Vegetable Korma. Only the recipe I found that made the most sense included heavy cream — a vegan no-no. An easy substitute, though, is the coconut milk that gives it a little touch of sweetness. I made multiple additions and subtractions to the recipe I found online, and came up with something I really like. Authentic? Most certainly not. Good? Yes!
Indian-Style Vegetable Korma
1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cubed potatoes
1/2 cup cubed carrots
1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced
3 Tbsp unsalted cashews, chopped
1/2 can tomato sauce (4 ounces)
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 Tbsp curry powder
1 cup frozen green peas
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1-2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp vegan margarine (optional)
1 bunch fresh cilantro for garnish
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium hear. Stir in the onion, and cook until tender. Mix in garlic and continue cooking 1 minute.
Add potatoes, carrots, jalapeno, cashews, tomato sauce, salt and curry powder. Cook and stir 10 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
Stir in peas, coconut milk, brown sugar, and margarine. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 10 minutes. Serve with rice and garnish with cilantro.