Curried

Just east of the dazzling Las Vegas strip is one of hubby’s and my favorite date spots. It’s one of those tiny, quiet, unassuming little places located in the middle of a neighborhood that has me clutch my pocketbook and cling to my honey’s arm just a little tighter (in my experience this is a recipe for a great place to eat). The outside is deceptively simple but every time we step through the door we are immediately transported to the exotic nation of India. As I enter I am drawn in by the impeccable decor, soft lighting, intoxicating smells, and absolutely flawless service from native waiters who are always willing to laugh at my attempt at their Indian language, and are often shocked by my request for the “hottest” level of food. While we order our stand-by favorites like Saag Paneer, Dal Makhani, and of course Chicken Tikka Masala, the servers are never slow to suggest more adventurous dishes and we take their suggestions whenever possible.

We love this restaurant and have enjoyed going there for many years. When I discovered a few months ago that gluten was the hidden cause of many health problems I had been experiencing, I made the decision (under Dr’s. advice) to join the ranks of the gluten-free. I already had one daughter who ate gluten-free so learning to cook that way was not much of an adjustment. We eat out very seldom as a family and I did not think that it would be too much of a sacrifice to give up fast food and restaurants all together. Until my anniversary came. Of course, I wanted to make a stop by our favorite little kid-free, Indian-food hideaway. I decided that the repercussions of the potential “glutening” that could come from eating at any restaurant was not worth the deliciousness of the meal. So we had a fun, food-free date and I have tried to put the idea of that delicious Indian food out of my mind. But if your cravings are anything like mine, you will understand when I say this craving soon became an obsession that I knew would not be tamed until I got me some Indian food!

When I got a basket with yet another cauliflower I decided it was time to pull out the curry. This is the resulting recipe. I will warn you, it is not traditional; it is not fancy, and it does not come anywhere close to the deliciousness of the food served in that restaurant. (wow- I should be in advertising with a plug like that). However it is a meatless meal that is tasty, easy to whip up, and satisfies my craving for Indian food (for now). Happy Cooking!

PS- don’t be afraid of the curry. This is a great introduction to the flavor and the heat is easily adjusted to your level of tolerance.

Curried Vegetable Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cans coconut milk (I like light)
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 (+) T Coconut Oil
  • Curry Powder (I use a 1.5 oz "ElGuapo" package but you can use less if needed)
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 head of cauliflower sliced into bite size pieces
  • 3-4 ribs of celery sliced
  • 1 pint of carrots- chopped (you could also use raw carrots but adjust their cooking time)
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 bag frozen peas
  • Lemon or lime juice

Instructions

  1. Mix the tomatoes, coconut milk, and broth together in a large bowl.
  2. In a large electric skillet heat the 2 T coconut oil. (you may need to add more as you cook the veggies)
  3. Add in the onion, celery, and cauliflower. (If using fresh carrot add that now too)
  4. Stir-fry the veggies and begin to sprinkle with the curry powder. By adding a little at a time you will let the powder cook and build flavor. Keep adding to your taste (the heat will soften during cooking).
  5. When the vegetables are coated with the curry and starting to turn brown, begin to add in your liquid mixture. Do this a little bit at a time scraping up the bits of cooked flavor that are stuck to the bottom of the pan and letting each addition boil. (I use a good, solid whisk for this)
  6. When all the brown bits are incorporated go ahead and add the rest of the liquid bringing the dish to a good boil. Stir the veggies often and let the whole thing boil away until the sauce reduces (by about half) and thickens.
  7. When the sauce is thickened to your liking stir in the chickpeas, the canned carrots, and the frozen peas.
  8. Top with fresh lemon or lime juice to brighten up the flavor of the dish.
  9. Serve over basmati rice, couscous, quinoa, or cauliflower rice
  10. This recipe makes A LOT. (Feeds my hungry family of 6 plus leftovers)

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5 Responses to “Curried”

  1. Katherine says:

    Could you give me an idea of how much curry powder that is? A Tablespoon? A half a teaspoon? Just a guess would be good since I bought some in bulk and don’t know how much to use! Thanks!

  2. JoAnn Williams says:

    Oh my goodness Melissa that is some of the best news I’ve heard all day! GF Naan Bread- I’m drooling already.

  3. Melissa maloof says:

    There is a gluten free friendly Indian restaurant in Las Vegas called Mint Indian Bistro. It’s on the east side of town by UNLV. It’s great food. They mark everything on the menu with GF symbols. They also have symbols for nut free, vegan, vegetarian, and some others. They even have GF naan bread!

  4. JoAnn Williams says:

    Oh Ashley- I wish that were where the story went. I’ll keep my eyes out for ya’:)

  5. Ashley says:

    I’ve also had to give up gluten recently, and for a minute I thought you were going to share a fantastic GF Indian restaurant. My hopes were pretty high! ;) Always happy for new GF recipes though.

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