If you had to imagine the ultimate comfort food, what would it be? Mine just might be this creamy, coconut-based curry “risotto.” Allow me to explain: take your trusty Dutch oven–or a thick-bottomed pot–and bring a cup of brown rice to boil. Simmer for about twenty-five minutes–meanwhile, go turn on some cafe tunes (try Madeleine Peyroux) and prep the vegetables. When the rice is nearly done, add a bit of coconut oil, potatoes, onions, carrots, and red curry powder, and saute. Add sweet winter squash, vegetable stock, and coconut milk, some more vegetables, and simmer. Let your kitchen fill up with the fragrant coconut-y smell. And voila! You have a blanket in a bowl, pretty to look and so much fun to eat. The texture is a cross between a risotto and a thick curry, and the taste is all delicious.
Vegan Red Curry Risotto
1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp red curry powder (this will make a mild curry; for spicy curry, add another tbsp)
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp ketchup
4 tbsp sweetener (I used brown rice syrup)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, chopped or sliced into coins
1 potato, cubed
1/2 delicata squash, cubed (or other sweet squashes like butternut)
5 heads bok choi, sliced into small pieces
1 tsp Better Than Bouillon dissolved in 2 cups water (or 2 cups vegetable stock)
2 cups coconut milk
4 tbsp shredded coconut
Salt to taste
1 stalk scallion, chopped
1. In a Dutch oven (or a thick-bottomed pot), bring 1 cup brown rice and 2 cups water to boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes.
2. When the water is almost all gone and the rice is plump, add 1 tbsp coconut oil. Add the potato, onions, carrots, and red curry powder, and saute for 3-4 minutes over medium heat. It’s okay if the potato sticks to the bottom a little; just gently push them around.
3. Add the garlic and the squash. Then, add 2 cups vegetable stock (or 1 tsp Better Than Bouillon diluted in 2 cups water), soy sauce, ketchup, and stir. Cover and bring to steady boil for 5 minutes.
4. Add coconut milk, shredded coconut, sweetener, and bok choi. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Serve in a bowl with some chopped scallions (or cilantro) for garnish. Bon appetit!
Other comforting dishes: Winter-Warming Soba Noodle Soup
Photo: Peaceful Dumpling