Coconut Curry with Chickpeas and Veggies, Curried Chard, Naan & Samosas
In keeping with my “use stuff up” quest, my next challenge ingredient was coconut milk. OK – that’s not hard to find a use for, but I had to be sure we planned for it. I had opened the can when I made the coconut sauce for the satay the other day, but I only used 2 tablespoons of it, so I had basically an entire can. We love Indian food, so I pulled out The Indian Vegan Kitchen and thumbed through it until I found the Coconut Curry recipe. It’s nothing like a Thai curry that uses curry paste, or even curry powder. The seasonings include a cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves & a chili or two (I used one and seeded it). The recipe as written is all veggies, predominately cauliflower which we both dislike, so I omitted that and added about a cup and a half of cooked chickpeas instead. This not only bulked it up a little, but also solved the cauliflower problem quite nicely. It turned out really well, although I did sprinkle a little extra ground cardamom into it at the end, since it needed just a little more oomph. Even though there were plenty of veggies in the curry, I still felt like we should have a little something green and leafy with dinner. There is a chard recipe in Color Me Vegan, which is just divine. Not only is it insanely easy (hence the name, Quick Curried Chard) but it’s so delicious. It requires just a few ingredients including curry paste (I double the amount to 2 teaspoons) and almond milk (or soy or whatever kind you like), and it can simmer while you do other stuff. It really is quick and only needs about 20 minutes to cook. I always leave the stems out because they’re not my favorite, despite the fact that their beautiful bright colors are always what draws me to chard every time I see it.
OK, so main dish, check. Leafy greens, check. What would an Indian dinner be without naan? Well, it would be the kind you get in a restaurant if you’re vegan and the kind you always get if you don’t do gluten. But, since we were home and are bread enthusiasts, we had the naan. Vegan Eats World is an amazing book and we’ve loved every single thing we’ve made from it, but this is the one recipe we do most often. If you ever had naan in a restaurant before you were vegan, you remember those soft, fluffy loaves, just ever so slightly crispy on the outside. Well, these are pretty much exactly like those. It does take a little time because it has to rise and unless you have a whole bunch of skillets, it’ll take about 30 minutes to grill the loaves individually. It’s so worth it though. I promise. I put the extras in the freezer so they’re handy whenever we make Indian food, and they also make excellent single serve pizza crusts. Just sayin’. Oh, and if you do try the recipe, make the garlic variation – it’s the best way. We like to smear a little butter on the naan when it's hot out of the pan. If I have any fresh parsley on hand, I chop some of that up and sprinkle it on, too. Or you could do cilantro. If the rumors are true, there are people (like Seth) who like that stuff. The samosas we get are just a frozen brand (Sukhi’s) and we look for them on sale and keep them around just like the naan.