Every now and then I tend to bite off more than I can chew when it comes to blog challenges, and this week’s r/52weeksofcooking is a prime example. The theme this week was Indian which is a cuisine I’m familiar with and have done a few times in the past. However I wanted to try something different so instead of my standard tomato based curry I decided to attempt a yogurt based dish, and then go the extra step in making it vegan. I researched a variety of different dishes before finally deciding on Navratan Korma which translates to Nine Gems Curry. For my nine gems I settled on: peas, green beans, Indian Eggplant, green bell pepper, tofu (or paneer), Indian red chilies, shallots, cashews, and carrots. I debated about using cauliflower or broccoli but it’s still too early in the season for them and couldn’t find any at the local market. Needless to say this is a very (very!!!) prep-heavy dish with lots of cleaning and cutting.
I started prep work with the tofu in order to give it time to press before moving on to the eggplant, for similar reasons, and then all the remaining vegetables. To figure out the right spices I looked at a variety of online recipes before finally settling on the below combination. For a more traditional dish use paneer in place of tofu, just keep it mind it will cook a lot faster than tofu and might require additional vegetable oil in order to brown.
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp cumin seed
1/4 tsp cardamon seeds
1/4 tsp amchoor powder (mango powder)
1/2 tsp tumeric
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 tsp ginger, shredded
3 scallions, diced
1/2 tbsp garam masala
1 lb of tofu, well pressed and drained (can also sub paneer)
4 Indian eggplants, sliced and salted
1 cup spring peas
1 cup green beans, tipped and halved
1/4 lb carrots, cut in to 2inch pieces
1 green pepper, diced
2 Indian red chilis, diced and seeded (optional)
1 cup coconut milk (plain or original - can also used canned version)
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used So Delicious Coconut - but Almond or Dairy would work as well)
1/4 cup cashews (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a large saute dish over medium heat. Once hot add the seeds, spices, garlic, scallions, and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes or until cumin seeds start to split stirring frequently to prevent burning.
- Add the tofu and cook for 10 minutes, turning regularly so tofu browns on all sides. Add the remaining vegetables and stir well. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring once to prevent sticking.
- Remove lid and add the coconut milk and yogurt. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Serve hot over coconut (or regular rice) or with fesh Naan topping the dish with cashews (optional)
I served the cashews only on top of mine since I couldn’t find a bag that was marked in such a way to indicate it was 100% peanut free. This dish might have taken a while to get started but it’s incredibly quick to come together and delicious – making all the cutting worth it! I also have a feeling this dish would work well in a slow cooker and look forward to testing that theory shortly.
Note: I’m submitting this to the So Delicious Dairy Free Recipe Contest