Posts Tagged ‘Curry’

On our paddling trip, S&G brought along a magnificent cast iron camping pot.  We used it for everything from eggs and bacon to soups, cakes to stews.  Given we were carrying the majority of our food, our diet was heavy on the dried lentils, rice and beans.  We had planned a feast to celebrate Canada Day – aloo gobi with lemon cake.   While the day began promising with multiple sightings of loons and beavers, our dinner plans, however, were foiled by high winds and a thunderstorm prematurely pushing us off the lake.

Making our feast of Aloo Gobi and roasted Northern Pike.   It was a happy reunion for Sitelle and I - our first time cooking together in over a year!!

Making our feast of Aloo Gobi and roasted Northern Pike. It was a happy reunion for Sitelle and I – our first time cooking together in over a year!!

We ended up making the aloo gobi a few nights later.  We procured the cauliflower and potatoes from the bottom of our canoe barrel to make the curry. The curry is a perfect camp meal – relatively quick to make, filling, and tasty.   We feasted on the Aloo Gobi along with our roasted pike!

While we made this curry over a campfire, it is something both Sitelle and I have frequently made at home over a stove!

Aloo Gobi

Makes enough aloo gobi to serve 10
Aloo Gobi


Canola oil

2 onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, diced

Spoonful of cumin seeds

Spoonful of tumeric

Spoonful of vegetable bouillon

Cardamom pod

5-6 potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 cauliflower head, cut into florets

1 green pepper, cut into ½ inch squares

1 yellow pepper, cut into ½ inch squares

1 cup frozen green peas

1 cup coconut milk

½ cup dried coconut flakes

Salt and pepper to taste


Over medium heat, saute onions and garlic in oil until lightly brown.  Add spices and cook until fragrant.  Stir in potatoes, cauliflower, peas and peppers.  Fill pot with water until all the veggies are barely covered.  Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes.  Stir occasionally while simmering.  Before serving, stir in the coconut milk and coconut flakes. Adjust seasoning to taste!

Delicious served on its own, with some naan bread,  or over a bowl of rice.

Bon appétit!

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As you can probably guess, my last two weeks have been quite an adventure. Sandwiched between two vastly different rock-climbing weekends, I spent two weeks working on some intense mind-numbing data collection in the field in the Eastern Townships of Québec. With that behind me, however, I’m thrilled to be home and to enjoy the simple things like cooking dinner together at home.

In Québec, I could well have been paid for my work in mulberries, fresh Montreal Tasty heirloom tomatoes, and zucchinis from a delicious garden in the place I stayed at. Monkeying around in the mulberry tree at 7am probably made me look like quite a character to the neighbours – but I was willing to take on the role if it meant a salad-bowl full of mulberries for breakfast every day!

When I came home, we basically changed gears into preparing for an up-coming adventure (more details to come – but I will admit it will require us to move, and very far at that). That has meant planning to cook so many meals we’ve had on our list of recipes to try all summer. Tonight was no exception: we cooked Lamb Keema from the LCBO’s Food and Drink magazine (summer 2012).

We had high hopes for this recipe. Full of home-mixed spices and protein, it’s a perfect end-of-summer meal for those days that are heavy in exercise (it was also delicious without exercise too). Not only was it delicious, it was easy to make as long as all the ingredients are readily available in your kitchen (as long as you’re into Indian cooking, your pantry can probably handle it). Topped off with a sunny-side-up egg, this meal is also an eye-pleaser. Finally, I also want to mention that it is low in carbs, if you’re looking for that.

Ingredients – 4 servings (don’t be discouraged by the long list – most are spices!)

1/2 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 lb ground lamb (500g)
1/2 cup yogurt

2 Tbsp cooking oil + 1 Tbsp clarified butter
2 whole green cardamom pods
3 whole cloves
1 large bay leaf
1 stick cinnamon

1 medium cooking onion (or the other half of the large red onion), diced
1 Tbsp grated ginger (fresh)
4 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup tomato purée
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp ground coriander

2 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

1 cup frozen peas
2 tsp garam masala

4 eggs
1 Tbsp butter
cracked black pepper, cayenne to taste

Fresh cilantro (optional)


Slice the half onion into half-rings. Sprinkle with salt, and let stand.

Heat the oil in a pot with a lid. Once hot, add the whole spices and fry until fragrant, around 3 minutes. Add the diced onion, and fry until translucent but not browned.

Meanwhile, mix the ground lamb and yogurt in a bowl. Mince the garlic and grate the ginger. When onions are ready, add the lamb to the onion mixture and stir to break it all apart. Cook until it is no longer pink, then add in the garlic and ginger. Cook for a minute or two.

Add the tomato purée and 1 1/4 cups water, cover, and bring to a boil. Sprinkle all of the spices on top except the garam masala. Add the potatoes, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, covered. Remove the cover near the end and leave open if amount of liquid remaining is too much.

Heat the butter in another frying pan. Cook each egg separately sunny-side up, seasoning according to taste.

Finally, add in the peas and garam masala. Remove from heat. Rince the onions under the tap. Divide the keema into four portions and serve with a sunny-side-up egg on top, accompanied with some of those salted onions, and fresh coriander if you have some.

This meal is delicious alone, accompanied with naan, or salad!

The only thing I want to do is thank the LCBO for publishing such a delicious recipe in its Food and Drink magazine!


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This year, like every year, I crave warm, rich food at the beginning of October. Since I live with a few new people here in Montréal, it’s fun to see their reaction to my daily cooking adventures. If one person’s reaction is a good indicator, then I was in luck with this recipe. Her eyes bulged after tasting this – “what did you put in this? it’s so good!”. What made me laugh is that she sounded so surprised – she’s the sort of person that always knows best. And with all the cooking I do, I’m bound to get some flavours right just from trial-and-error!

So, I will leave it at that, and hope you enjoy it as much, or more (if that’s possible), than we did here!

Ingredients – serves 4

Lentil Curry

-1 medium onion, finely chopped
-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
-1 tsp mustard seeds
-1 tsp (or less to taste) hot red pepper flakes
-2 Tbsp olive or canola oil
-1 cup red lentils
-1.5 tsp ground cumin
-1.5 tsp garam masala
-1 tsp paprika
-2 tsp curry powder
-3 cardamom pods, whole
-1 cup coconut milk
-1/4 cup tomato paste
-1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
-1 tsp honey
-2-2 1/2 cups water (depending on how thick you like your curry)
-1 1/2 cup roasted squash, mashed or diced
– 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Cardamom-infused rice

-1 cup basmati rice
-2 cardamom pods, whole
-1 1/3 cups water


Lentil curry

In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add mustard seeds, and let them heat up and infuse the oil. If using olive oil, don’t let them heat too much; but if you’re using canola oil you can wait for the seeds to begin to pop. Add the diced onion, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until they are translucent. Add garlic, stir, and cook for another minute or so.

Then add the spices, and the lentils. Stir to coat the lentils with the spice-onion mixture. Pour in water and coconut milk, and raise the heat to medium high and bring to a simmer. Add the tomato paste and honey, and mix until it is well dissolved.

Simmer for 20-30 minutes, until lentils are tender. Add the squash 10-15 minutes before the end.

This curry tastes even better on day 2 – and that’s saying a lot since normally I’m not a big left-over fan.

Cardamom-infused rice

Rince rice. In a small pot with a tight-fitting lid, place rice, water, and cardamom pods. Cover and bring to a boil, quickly reducing the heat to minimum as soon as it boils. Then let cook for 10 minutes, remove from heat and fluff, and let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Remove cardamom pods before serving.

Garnish curry with some cilantro, and serve over rice. I hope you like it!


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Recently, we’ve been indulging a lot in Indian-inspired food.  On Sunday, I had a lovely Indian feast at a friends’ house, Monday it was the red lentil dahl, and then Graham and I made this curry.  I love how colourful and filling curries are, and how easy it is to mix in just about any ingredients you have on hand.

This recipe was adapted from a recipe in Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian cookbook, called Okra and Potatoes (p 251).  She describes it as “a Gujarati speciality”.  I’m not sure what our alterations do in terms of tradition, but sometimes, alterations are required when certain ingredients are not on hand.

While I’m on the subject of Madhur Jaffrey’s cookbooks, I want to mention how I absolutely love her recipes.  She strives for simplicity, and every recipe I have made of hers has pleased me.

Ingredients – 4 generous servings

-4 medium garlic cloves, peeled
-1 (1 inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
-1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne
-2 tsp ground cumin
-1 tsp ground coriander
-1/2 tsp ground turmeric
-3 Tbsp peanut or canola oil
-1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
-1/2 tsp mustard seeds
-14 oz (or one package frozen) okra, ends trimmed and sliced into rounds
-4 waxy red potatoes, boiled, peeled, and cut into 1 inch cubes
-1/2 of a cauliflower, separated into small florets (** My own addition)
-2 medium tomatoes, diced (I substituted a can)
-1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
-1 tsp salt
-1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro
-1/2 can coconut milk (**My own addition)


Boil the potatoes until tender.  In blender or mortar and pestle, blend the ginger and garlic along with some water.  Add the ground spices.  Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, and gently heat the ginger and garlic mixture.  Add the okra, potatoes and cauliflower, and sauté until well-coated.  Add the tomato, lemon juice, coconut milk and salt, and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until the sauce is fragrant.  Garnish with the chopped cilantro, and enjoy over a bed of rice or quinoa!


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Coconut Veggie Curry

I arrived home the other night to an absolutely empty fridge – a few moldy vegetables here and there, but nothing really appetizing.  I desperately wanted some comfort food, and nothing previously frozen.  Rummaging in my cupboard, I happened across a can of coconut milk, and decided that I would make curry.

Assembling odds and ends from my fridge (1/2 can of chickpeas, what was salvageable from a moldy sweet potato, 1/3 of a cauliflower, 2 half onions) I threw together a curry in about 15 minutes, and was it ever delicious – really, how could the mixture of curry paste and coconut milk not be?  I cooked some rice as the curry simmered away, and within 15 minutes had nice comfort food on the table!

If you like your curry a little hotter, throw in some more red pepper flakes, and if you need more protein than chickpeas, just fry up some chicken with the onions and garlic.  And if like me you have some veggies lying around, chuck them in – this curry is super forgiving and loves new flavours.


Coconut Veggie Curry

(3 servings)



2 teaspoons canola oil

1 onion, diced

1 sweet potato, in 1 cm cubes

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon cumin

½ can chickpeas, rinsed

1/3 head of cauliflower, broken into florets

4 tablespoons curry paste

1 can coconut milk

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes


Basmati rice



Saute the onions, garlic, and sweet potato in the oil until soft.  Stir in the cumin, chickpeas, cauliflower, and curry paste and cook until the spices are fragrant.  Add the coconut milk and red pepper flakes and cook for 10 or so minutes, until the veggies are cooked and the sauce is slightly thickened.

Meanwhile cook the basmati rice.  Pour the curry over the rice, and serve!

–       Catherine

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On the topic of beautiful Canadian produce, I was wandering through the Halifax Seaport market (absolutely gorgeous if you ever get a chance to go) on Saturday.  As should be expected in January, there was really limited produce – down to the good old root vegetables and apples.  A bag of pre-cut butternut squash caught my eye, and I instantly was craving a nice hearty butternut squash soup.

I decided to go with one of my favourite combinations – sweet and flavourful butternut squash, piqued by tangy ginger and apple undertones, and with some curry to add depth.   This soup is not only delicious and perfect for a cold winter lunch, but also easy as anything – sauté, simmer, and whirl away in the blender without fail produced a creamy velouté which one cannot stop slurping.


Curried Apple-Ginger-Butternut Squash Soup

(4 generous servings)



2 tablespoons butter

2 onions, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

½ inch chunk of ginger, skin removed and grated

2 apples, peeled, cored, and diced

3 tablespoons of curry paste (my fave is Patak’s Mild)

1 butternut squash, cut into 1 inch cubes

6 cups of chicken broth or vegetable stock

1 bay leaf

salt and pepper to taste

coriander and cream to garnish (optional)


Sauté the onions and garlic in the butter until soft (about 5 minutes).  Add the ginger and apple and cook until fragrant and the apple softens.  Add the curry paste to coat onion mixture.  Add the butternut squash and sauté until starts to soften.

Add the broth and bay leaf.  Simmer until the squash is quite soft (about 25 minutes). Remove the bay leaf.

Let the soup cool slightly before blending until smooth, reserving about 2 cups of stock.  You will likely need to do so in batches!  Return the velouté to the pot.  Thin as desired with the reserved stock.  Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary (add salt, pepper, and curry paste to your desire).

Serve in large bowls, swirling in a few tablespoons of cream and garnishing with coriander as desired.  Enjoy!

–       Catherine

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