If you’ve made a batch of the garam masala from the Dilly Dal post you can also whoop up an easy veggie side to round out your Indo-meal. All kinds of seasonal vegetables (any time of year) will work. My most recent batch juxtaposed the last of this year’s summer squash (that exceptional variety from Finca Pura Vida) with my second Texas cauliflower of the season. Plus fall peppers, spicy green jalapenos and serranos, and those sweet little orange cuties from Flint Rock Hill. Almost any combination will unite harmoniously. Green beans get along graciously right now. Organic potatoes and frozen green peas can round out the chorus any time of year.
SIMPLE SOUTH INDIAN STYLE CURRIED VEGETABLES serves four to six
- 1 Tablespoon organic extra virgin coconut oil. Whole Foods 365 brand usually offers the best price.
- ½ teaspoon brown or black mustard seeds
- 1 inch chunk of fresh gingerroot, minced. I almost never peel ginger but I’m not gonna try to tell you how to handle your root.
- chopped local or organic onion—as much as you like
- 1 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- peppers, if available, spicy or sweet, cut up how you like or left whole (if desired) if spicy
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 more Tablespoon garam masala
- about 5 cups raw vegetables, cut into bite-sized chunks or pieces
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- salt to taste
- 1 cup organic coconut milk
- turbinado sugar if necessary
- about 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro—Yay! Local fresh cilantro is back!
- fresh lemon, if desired
In a large pan, such as 3-quart saute pan or Dutch oven, heat the oil with the mustard seeds. Allow the little orbs to sputter, turn gray and go “Pop!” then add the ginger and onion. Stir fry until the onion softens and browns, then add the garlic, peppers and 1 Tablespoon garam masala. Stir around then add the turmeric, a scant teaspoon of salt and your veggies, being mindful of varying cooking times, and stir and fry until browning. Harder vegetables such as potatoes and cauliflower will require more cooking (and probably a little water and a lid to steam them through) than summer squashes . If you are using frozen peas, DO NOT add them now. They’ll jump in much later as they need only a thawing heat-through.
When all your veggies have taken the plunge (except the peas) and are nearing doneness, add the second Tablespoon of garam masala and the coconut milk and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and reduce the coconut milk to a creamy sauce. Add the frozen peas now, is using. Taste for salt and sweetness, correcting if necessary.
Festoon with cilantro and brighten with a squeeze of lemon if you like.