Every Friday, my boyfriend and I go to our favorite neighborhood restaurant for date night. Not only is this place just around the corner from my apartment, it also happens to be the best Indian food I’ve ever had in New York–maybe anywhere! (The world?!) Seriously though, imagine you came home at the end of a long, hard week. Instead of opening the fridge and sighing over the paucity of ingredients, you change into comfy clothes, grab a bottle of wine, and go to your favorite restaurant where everyone knows you (and your vegan diet). You order the same thing every time: aloo gobi jeera, or curried cauliflower and potatoes, with peas pulao (basmati rice with peas and onions) and fresh roti.
Last night, I was craving my comforting weekend dish. Alas, it was a Wednesday. So I decided to make my own version, with a twist: instead of choosing between the traditional cauliflower and potatoes, or peas and mushrooms, I put everything together to make a mixed vegetable curry. What’s really amazing here is the mix of spices–they’re distinctly flavorful but when they’re combined, they turn into something else completely: umami flavor so well-rounded and rich that it tastes almost “sweet,” even though there is no sugariness. It’s a lot lighter than my usual restaurant dish but just as comforting and dare I say, pretty delicious.
Vegan Cauliflower, Peas, and Mushroom Curry
1 1/2 tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 head cauliflower, chopped
1 medium Idaho potato, peeled and chopped into 3/4″ pieces
8 medium white mushrooms
1 cup green peas (if frozen, defrost and drain)
1. In a small bowl, combine all spices and about 2 tbsp water to make a paste.
2. Heat the oil in a large saute pan or wok. When the oil is hot, add onions and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add the ginger, stir a few times, then the spice paste.
3. When the spice smells fragrant, add the tomatoes and saute for about 3 minutes. Add 2 cups of water, cover with a lid, and bring to boil.
4. Add the potatoes and cauliflower, salt generously, and let it boil for a few minutes, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes.
5. Add mushrooms and peas. Turn up the heat to boiling, then back down to simmer for another 10 minutes. Then you’re ready to eat!
Related: Broccoli Stuffed Twice Baked Potato
Photo: Peaceful Dumpling