A Cozy Stew: Golden, Curried Vegetable Stew Means Staying In For Date Night

A Cozy Stew: Golden, Curried Vegetable Stew Means Staying In For Date Night post image

My husband and I share a love of Indian food. The warm, spicy aromas; the fragrant, silky sauces that bathe the tender bits of vegetables or meat; the bold, uniquely vibrant colors—what’s there not to fall utterly in love with? Indian cuisine is anything but boring; it grabs you by the kisser, and completely and warmly invigorates your senses. Some of our fondest “date night” memories are ones where we cozied up in a small, corner booth of our favorite, dimly-lit Indian restaurant, and simply enjoyed some of our favorite dishes over a great conversation, occasionally stopping to “ooh” and “ah” over what we were eating. And then on those occasions when getting ready for a night-on-the-town seemed like a bit too much of an effort, we’d drive over to our favorite, local Indian market and cafe where we’d pick out a few different freshly prepared and authentic offerings, and bring ‘em on home to sup on in our schleppy, comfy clothes in front of the T.V. Either way, we’d have to get in the car and drive to get some of our favorite, spiced yum-yums if we had a craving for them. And honestly, the more often we’d go out to grab a meal of Indian food, the more intrigued I became about taking a crack at preparing some of our favorite dishes at home. It just seemed like a fun challenge. From the fragrant and bright Basmati rice, to the spicy curry, to the all of the layers of flavors and the deep colors, I was hooked and a lover for life. And I found that with a handful of staple spices and items, what once was a beloved “go-out-to-eat” or “take-out” meal for us, could now be enjoyed as a “stay-in”, with no problem.

Curried Vegetable Stew

I truly think that part of the reason that I so adore Indian food is due to the sheer “sauciness” of it all. See, I love the type of dishes that I can scoop up with a piece of bread (or in this case, naan—mmm!) and take a bite of, or pile up onto a fork the various components, and not have it be a big thing if they’re all a bit mushed together; in this case, “togetherness” and cohesion is better.  All of the elements in Indian cuisine just work together so deliciously, complimenting one another perfectly. The colors are magnetic—the golds, the yellows, the oranges and flecks of green—brilliantly inviting the eye to take a closer peek at what is contained within the dish; and the spices, bold, and actually quite healthy for the body. It certainly makes eating your veggies a delicious joy when you have a colorful, mildly spicy and complex curried vegetable stew to tuck into. Perfect for the cold weather, and perfect for a night “in”, in your “cozy-clothes”.

Curried Vegetable Stew

Curried Vegetable Stew

Now that I think of it, it’s been quite a while since my hubby and I went out for a sit-down meal at an Indian restaurant, or went to our go-to Indian market and cafe for some take-out dishes to bring home. These days, I’m loving being able to prepare my own tasty and fragrant, Indian-inspired meals, making our own kitchen a mini cafe, or a quaint, dimly-lit setting, when the mood hits us. The comfort of a golden, curried vegetable stew simmering on the stove perfuming my own kitchen is the type of comfort that is perfect for an evening at home; it’s healthy and beautiful at the same time, which is what a good meal ideally should be. And the bonus is, there’s no dressing up or even any driving required.

Taste what’s good and pass it on.

Ingrid

Curried Vegetable Stew

Golden, Curried Vegetable Stew with Cauliflower, Potatoes, Chickpeas and Carrots over Turmeric Rice
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(Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
½ teaspoon whole fennel seeds
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, quartered and sliced thinly
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
6 small/medium carrots, peeled and sliced about ¼” thick
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed to bite-size pieces
1 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock, hot
½ head cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons green onion, chopped
• Turmeric Rice (recipe below)

Preparation:

-In a small ramekin, mix together the curry powder, fennel seeds, sea salt, black pepper, turmeric and paprika, and set this seasoning aside for a moment.

-Place a heavy-bottom pot (or braising pot) over medium-high heat; once the pot is hot, add in the butter and the olive oil, and melt them together; once melted, add in the sliced onion, and allow it to cook and soften for about 5-6 minutes; next, add in the seasoning from the ramekin as well as the garlic and stir, and allow it to cook together for about 1 minute until fragrant; next, add in the diced tomatoes and the chickpeas and stir to combine, then add in the carrots and potatoes, along with the hot chicken stock, and stir combine; partially cover the pot allowing for some of the steam to escape, and simmer gently on low for about 20-22 minutes, giving a stir every so often; next, add in the chopped cauliflower pieces, and gently fold them into the stew (don’t worry about breaking up the potatoes just a little bit, as this will help thicken the stew), and simmer for an additional 5 minutes, now covered, until the cauliflower is tender/slightly crisp.

-Finish the stew by stirring in the cilantro and the rice vinegar, then serve over the Turmeric Rice with a sprinkle of the green onions over top as garnish, along with naan bread.

Turmeric Rice ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 ½ cups basmati rice
1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon cardamom
2 ¼ cups water
½ frozen peas, thawed

Preparation:

-Place a medium-size non-stick pot over medium-high heat, and add in the oil; once hot, add in the garlic, and once it becomes fragrant, add in the rice, the salt, turmeric and cardamom, and stir, allowing the rice to “toast” in the garlic oil for about 1-2 minutes; next, add in the water, stir to combine, cover and simmer until cooked, for about 20 minutes; to finish, turn off the heat, add in the thawed peas and cover, and allow to stand for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork and serving.





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{ 19 comments… add one }

  • Alicia February 17, 2013, 5:13 pm

    This looks delightful.

    I just wanted to stop by and say that I stumble across a LOT of cooking blogs, but more often than not I am there because of the recipes. I tend to gloss over the written bits since I tend to be disappointed quickly by certain types of writing. Your use of language is indulgent, passionate, and beautiful! I found myself reading post after post on your blog to try and catch myself up, in a sense. I’m hooked!

    • The Cozy Apron February 17, 2013, 6:05 pm

      Alicia, that is probably one of the most touching comments I have ever received; I appreciate what you wrote very much. I consider the “story” portion of my posts as important as the actual “recipe” portion when I’m working on them, as both are born from my heart and soul; I can’t separate the two, as I love the work involved in both elements, equally. I’m so glad that you’ve been enjoying the blog, and I thank you very much for stopping by to share your thoughts with me!

  • Peggy February 18, 2013, 4:39 pm

    This looks absolutely delicious! I haven’t had a good Indian meal in ages, so you’ve really got me craving it now!

    • The Cozy Apron February 18, 2013, 5:03 pm

      Thanks, Peggy – and the good news is that it’s quick and fairly easy; homemade always tastes best to me!

  • Julia February 19, 2013, 8:49 pm

    I’d hate to bust in on your two love birds romantic meal, but uh…can I come to date night?? Your curried veggie stew looks awesome and that rice seems like the perfect accompaniment! I adore Indian food too and will definitely be trying your recipe!

  • Jackie February 28, 2013, 7:26 pm

    I have to say that I NEVER follow anyone’s blog nor did I ever take an interest in one, but I love to cook, and I ADORE your blog. I have made many of your recipes for my husband and we are NEVER disappointed. Thank you so much for putting your beautiful art out there to share with the world. You are truly amazing and your food is heavenly.

    • The Cozy Apron March 1, 2013, 12:26 pm

      Hi Jackie! Thank you so much for your kind and beautiful words, and for sharing your thoughts with me; comments like yours are what give my husband and I the encouragement and the “steam” to keep on sharing with people those things that are dear to our hearts. Thanks for stopping by, and for your continued readership!

  • Tricia April 15, 2013, 3:54 pm

    Found this recipe on stumpleupon and made it today.
    It was easy and fun to follow your recipe and the meal turned out fantastic! Thank you so much for sharing.

    • The Cozy Apron April 15, 2013, 5:02 pm

      I’m so glad to hear that, Tricia! Thank you for coming back to comment on your experience with this particular recipe.

  • Emily K April 16, 2013, 8:58 am

    Do you rinse the basmati rice before you put it in the pot?

    • The Cozy Apron April 16, 2013, 12:07 pm

      Hi Emily! No, don’t rinse the rice, as you want to toast it in the oil; if it’s wet, then it won’t toast very well. Please enjoy!

      • Emily K May 1, 2013, 5:25 pm

        Ingrid this was delicious and easy! And thanks for responding so quickly about the rice, it turned out perfect. I am considering repeating it with the Tikka Marsala recipe I have. For the stew, I used a mild yellow curry and I felt like it needed a touch more, but it may have been the brand/type of curry I used. Although I did not add the fennel seeds because I do not like the flavor, so that could be why.
        Thanks!

        • The Cozy Apron May 1, 2013, 9:26 pm

          Emily, so glad you came back to let me know how the dish came together for you. I, too, like a bit of a stronger curry flavor, as well as the “bite” that it offers; maybe you can use a bit more next time, or, perhaps you can find one that is a little more intense and aromatic. At any rate, thanks for coming back to fill me on how things turned out – have fun making some tasty Indian dishes!

  • Sherlly April 29, 2013, 6:58 pm

    Just made this for dinner and I thought it was delicious!! Super flavorful and stress free to make. Good thing I made leftovers for lunch tomorrow :-P

    • The Cozy Apron April 29, 2013, 10:46 pm

      Sherlly, stress-free is the best type of cooking, isn’t it? So glad this was a tasty success for you tonight – enjoy your lunch tomorrow! ;-)

  • Sarah O. July 16, 2013, 9:07 pm

    I am never brave enough to attempt cooking Indian food. I always think I will ruin it, and it is my very favorite type of cuisine and deserves better than that. This stuff looks so good though, I may just have to grow a pair and try it.

  • Stacey November 9, 2013, 12:20 am

    From the other side of the world, at the end of a very bad month and a particularly bad day – you have brightened things up.
    This is exactly the sort of comfort meal I needed and dish full of love my family needed too. Thank you so much. I hope you continue as passionately as ever with your blogging.
    Best regards.

    • The Cozy Apron November 10, 2013, 8:39 am

      Stacey, I really appreciate your comment – it touched me very much. When someone is willing to come back to my site and comment on a recipe experience, and willing to share that they’re going through a vulnerable time, I don’t take that lightly. I hope that you and your family are hanging in there – I can relate to a “bad month/bad day”, too, as we all go through challenging periods. I’m very happy that this recipe could be of some comfort to you all during this time, and I also hope you can find some spiritual comfort when you visit with us here at The Cozy Apron. My hope for you is for strength and perseverance!

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