Vegan Voice Tuesday
I'm not embarrassed to admit that I've had the pleasure of knowing many different curries. Some were extremely hot and spicy and others weren't as satisfying and left me wanting more. The term "curry" is a generic term used to describe many different spiced dishes popular in Southeast Asian and Indian cooking. Although many curries use standard ingredients such as turmeric, cumin, coriander and red pepper, there are as many variations of curry as there are persons who cook it and/or devour it.
Ever heard of "sex addiction?" Yeah ... well try "curry addiction" on for size. Apparently, several studies have claimed that the reaction to the hotter ingredients in curries leads to the body's release of endorphins. These endorphins, combined with a complex sensory reaction to the spices and flavors in curry, gives the eater a natural high that causes subsequent cravings, often followed by "addiction" and a desire to move on to hotter curries. Hmm. There is some controversy over whether such an addiction really exists; however, in my case, I can assure you that I am certifiably addicted ... to curry, that is.
Below is my recipe for Mushroom Veggie Curry. For those of you who are farther along in your curry addiction, you can always add more heat by increasing the amount of chile used. Since this recipe is vegan, the only saturated fat in this dish comes from the coconut milk, which has been shown to be healthier than animal-based saturated fat since it is quickly metabolized and does not clog up your arteries. In fact, cultures around the world that depend on coconut as their main source of fat have been found to be free of heart disease.
Here is the recipe:
1 (13.5-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves
2 small fresh chiles, seeded and deveined
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
8 oz. white mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 medium zucchini, 1/2 inch dice
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
Salt to taste
In a blender, combine the coconut milk, ginger, garlic, chiles, coriander, cumin and turmeric and blend until smooth.
In a large pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until they are golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add the zucchini and then the mushrooms until they are softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, the coconut milk mixture and salt to taste. Cook, stirring, until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes.
Serve this mushroom veggie curry with brown rice and some refreshing pickled cabbage (recipe below).
This sweet and spicy salad goes well with coconut milk curries.
1 small head green cabbage
1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro leaves
3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, core the cabbage and shred thinly. You will need about 4 cups. Place a colander in the sink.
When the water is boiling, add cabbage and press to submerge all of it. Cook for 20 seconds, then drain into the colander. Let cool to room temperature. When cool enough to handle, squeeze to soften and release some water.
Meanwhile, make the pickling brine: Combine the vinegar, sugar, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Remove from the heat, pour into a bowl large enough to accommodate the cabbage, and let cool to room temperature.
Add the cabbage to the brine and toss to coat well. Refrigerate until the cabbage is cold and serve with some spicy, yummy curry.
I hope your enjoyed this hot vegan recipe. Till next Tuesday!
Nancy, a.k.a. The Vegan Voice