Friday, May 7, 2010

Who knew cauliflower curry would smell so good the morning after?

The house is fragrant with Indian spices this morning. Last night's dinner was homemade vegan curry with cauliflower and chick peas, so we woke up to cardamom, ginger, cumin, turmeric, garlic-- and sunshine. What a great way to start the day!
I think I'm still salivating over our amazing dinner at Vij's in Vancouver, so yesterday I felt the need to try my hand at curry again, even though it meant we waited until almost 10:00 to eat.
I've found the secret to a tasty curry at home is to toast my spices in a dry, hot pan first thing. Last night I ground up some mustard seed, fennel and sichuan pepper(!) in the ol' mortar and pestle, then toasted them in a hot wok. (Does this count as fusion cuisine?) Then I added diced garlic, onions, ginger, and green peppers. Then came the cauliflower and chick peas. (I've been trying to use dried beans rather than canned lately, but I really think I need to plan ahead more-- the chick peas could have used more soaking/precooking time.) Then lots of simmering time (adding water, stirring, sniffing, adding more water, fussing with the gas...), splashes of coconut milk (and more simmering), a garnish of cilantro, et voila! Curry! Plus a house that smells like our favorite parts of India.

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