curry in a hurry: hearty vegetarian comfort food

I borrowed Julie and Julia from my friend Sheila, who has it checked out of
the library until tomorrow. It's a great read, highly entertaining, full of New
York pride and cynicism, and all about food.

Well after 4 days of eating coffee shop food for breakfast and lunch, my body
wanted something remotely healthy, and my hands wanted very few dishes.
Here's a recipe for a lovely comforting tofu curry I used to make back at the
Treehome in Cambridge. Most comforting eaten piping hot out of a wooden
bowl while sitting on a couch. If you want a good ol' one-pot meal, skip the
poached eggs; if you want really good food, don't even think about it.

Tofu Curry

medium or firm tofu
any veggies you can get your hands on
coconut milk
curry powder
garlic and ginger (you won't notice it gone, but you'll be very pleasantly surprised
when you get a chunk of it, so I highly recommend at least the ginger)

over a low-ish flame, toast the curry powder in oil, a minute or so.

add garlic and ginger.

throw in your tofu to start getting the curry flavor into it and to give it a
little hot-pan-action.

after the tofu has gotten curry-colored, start adding your veggies. In terms
of order of operations, add your veggies in order of cooking time, longest
to shortest. For example, first onions, then potatoes, then zucchini. I like to
add the ones that need sauteing first, like onions.

Put a small pot of water up to boil for the eggs in the meantime.

add water and coconut milk and let it start simmering again before adding
the rest of the veggies and the cashews. if you are using potatoes, the dish
will have to cook longer, but add them and let them boil for a while before
adding your other vegetables. For a quick dish, avoid onions and potatoes.

Salt to taste, add water and coconut milk as needed, and cook until the
easiest-to-overcook veggies are just (or just about to be) done.

Meanwhile your water should be boiled. Drop two eggs into the hot water
(flame still on high) to poach them. A trick I found for poaching eggs is to
break the shell near the pointy end so the egg stays contained, and then quickly
pour the egg against the side of the pan. It'll stay together after a little practice.
If you don't mind more dishes, crack the egg into a bowl and then pour it against
the side of the pan. This is a more proper way, and you end up "rolling" the egg
into the water (or so I learned in 7th grade home ec).

Let these boil for about 2 minutes. Don't overcook. The eggs will be solid white
on the outside but not solid on the inside. Again, you'll know when they are done
after you've practiced a little.

Serve eggs over curry with avocado, yogurt, smoked paprika, smoked salt,
sauerkraut, arugula, or anything else that sounds good and is in your pantry.

I recommend eating it with a close friend on a rainy day, or while reading novels
about amateur French cooking.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

do you remember "paprika"?