Do you love Indian food, but can't imagine attempting to cook those complicated dishes yourself? I felt the same way until I realized that Indian cuisine can be easy, as long as you have the right ingredients — especially spices.
Some common Indian spices include coriander, cardamom, turmeric and cloves. One popular "spice" is actually a mixture of several different spices — called garam masala, it typically includes ground cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, bay leaf and cumin.
The vegetarian curry dish featured below is extremely flexible. Feel free to adapt it. For instance, I used vegetables that I had in my fridge: carrots, bell peppers, broccoli and onion. Or, if you don't like spicy food, leave out the serrano peppers and cayenne.
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 cups diced broccoli
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- ¾ cup diced carrots
- 2 cups diced onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 to 2 fresh serrano chili peppers, minced
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- ¾ teaspoon turmeric
- ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, diced, with their juices
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1½ teaspoons garam masala
- In a small bowl, stir together yogurt and cornstarch. Set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add broccoli, peppers and carrots and sauté until just tender. Remove from heat.
- Heat remaining olive oil in a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté for about 4 minutes, stirring often. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until onions are golden brown. Add garlic, ginger and serrano chilies to the onion. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.
- Add cooked broccoli, peppers and carrots to onions. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Add coriander, cumin, turmeric and cayenne. Stir often and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and their juices, yogurt mixture, cilantro and kosher salt. Stir well, cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes, or until vegetables are thoroughly cooked. Remove from heat. Add garam masala and stir well.
- Garnish with extra cilantro and serve. Serves 4.
- Serve with brown rice or quinoa, if desired. Experiment with adding tofu, chicken or other meat while cooking to increase the protein content. The recipe is very flexible!