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South Indian-style Vegetable Curry

All these beautiful vegetables go into this delicious Curry

       I don’t know what verb I’d use to describe my reaction to the latest statistics showing that Americans just don’t eat their vegetables….Appalled? Shocked? Disturbed?  I’d have to say none of the above.  I started doing a check on what I’d been eating in a week.  There was the day I had a Porchetta sandwich for lunch—devoid of even a piece of lettuce, then followed that with a dinner out of Speck and Figs, followed by the most delicious Scallops but absent any vegetables of any kind.  Of course, this day I ate both meals out.  It’s amazing how many very good restaurants don’t incorporate vegetables into their main courses.  But I guess when you can charge $9.00 for a bowl of spinach as a side, you’d be hard pressed to rationalize putting a carrot on the plate to accompany a main dish.  At home, we do a lot better.  Although we hardly qualify as vegetarians, there are always vegetables or, at minimum, a salad.   And while we have yet to put a strictly vegetarian dinner on our weekly schedule, this fantastic Vegetable Curry could change that.

        Ellie Krieger is a Food Network personality and author.  I confess I’ve never watched her show “Healthy Appetite”.   She’s very attractive, has a really pleasant manner and I’m sure she knows her stuff.  She’s also a Contributing Editor of Fine Cookingmagazine.  And now that I’ve tasted her latest contribution to that wonderful publication, I’m a fan.  Ellie takes her inspiration for this dish from South India.  There the population is overwhelmingly vegetarian.  And this curry has a wonderful combination of Indian flavors—coriander and cumin, turmeric and ginger, cinnamon and coconut milk all blended together in a rich golden sauce. According the Ellie, the anti-oxidant powers of these spices is astonishing.  And backed up with facts like “ a half teaspoon of cinnamon has more anti-oxidants that a serving of raspberries”, you have to agree.   I’d like to reassure you that this is not a spicy dish but Andrew didn’t necessarily agree.  That being said, if you leave out the minute amount of cayenne pepper you’ll have something with very little heat. 
        What’s amazing here too, is how many vegetables are incorporated into the dish.  One visit to the Farm Stand yielded them all—glorious cauliflower, sweet potato, yellow onions, ripe tomatoes and giant carrots.  I opted for organic spinach and chickpeas from Whole Foods.  If you want to go pure vegetarian use Vegetable stock in lieu of the chicken stock in Ellie’s recipe.  (I noticed it’s quite a bit less expensive as well). Ellie says that with basmati or brown rice, this is a complete meal.  I don’t even think it needs that.   Make this dish and see if you and yours don’t think it’s a meal unto itself. Although I know from personal experience, it’s a wonderful side dish with a piece of grilled fish or chicken or even… steak.  Despite the number of ingredients, aside from a lot of chopping and dicing, this really isn’t hard to make at all.  Here’s the recipe:
 


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