Curry Attempt One

I’ve been threatening for a long time, at least a couple of years that I would learn to be comfortable cooking Indian Cuisine – I mean it’s perfect for us…  Lots of fresh veggies, lots of heat, lots of flavor. What’s not to love?  I really enjoy Indian Cuisine, but it’s so intimidating (for me at least).  Last year I bought a package of dried spices labeled “Garam Masala”, but I’m so incredibly intimidated by that package and its exotic looking whole, dried spices that I barely recognize (hello? Star Anise?  WTF do I do with that?!) that the package is still sitting in my pantry, unopened. Yesterday, I decided we were going to have a vegetarian meal and it would have an Indian flair.  In the end, I sort of chickened out and just bought a jar of red curry paste – Here’s what I did for Curry Attempt One:

  • Red Curry Paste (jarred, I got it on the ethnic aisle at Publix)
  • One eggplant, cut into small pieces (1/2 in.)
  • 3 red bell peppers, cut into small pieces (1/2 in.)
  • 1 can Coconut Milk
  • 1 large can chick peas (1lb. 13 oz.), drained and rinsed
  • vegetable oil
  • water
  • Cilantro

I chopped the eggplant and peppers and set them aside.  I heated up a large pasta pot, and when it was up to temp (med/high), I added three heaping teaspoons of the red curry paste and a splash of water and let it cook away the water – When it was very fragrant, I added a glub of oil and tossed in the eggplant and pepper – I probably should have done it in batches, but I didn’t. Toss occasionally to cook through everything.

Cooking the Vegetables

Cook until the eggplant is tender and cooked through – about 20-25 minutes. At this point, I decided that I definitely needed more curry paste, so I added another heaping teaspoon and tossed and stirred to combine it all.  At this point, I added a can of coconut milk, again stirring gently to combine.  I then added the garbanzo beans and yet again, carefully tossed to coat everything with sauce. I lowered the heat and allowed this to simmer away, slowly reducing.  I served with a slotted spoon as there was definitely still a bit more liquid than I would like. Add a little chopped cilantro on top….

So, the final verdict?  This was “fine”.  The heat level was perfect, but there wasn’t enough complexity as far as I’m concerned.  If I were to do it again, I would add garlic, ginger, maybe lime juice… I don’t know.  It was a good meal, but it wasn’t spectacular.  I will be experimenting more though – this was just the first attempt. Please follow along and feel free to share your experiences with Indian cuisine.

Curry Attempt One



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