Okra Curry

Finally. A curry with taste! I have been crap at making truly flavorful curries in general – I find recipes either too light in the spice for my taste, or just generally falling flat of the kind of deeply layered taste thing I love when enjoying my favorite delivery curries.

This is a step in that direction. It’s complex, flavorful, and wholly satisfying.

A word of caution for this recipe: I served mine with just a side of basmati rice, and I was still hungry. Either the carb ratio was off, or the meal needed some protein or fat to be truly filling.

Note: This recipe uses some of the Good Standard Curry I posted last week. That curry is a fantastic base for all number of other curries – I’m hoping I’ll get one more shot at transforming it into something else before I run out. Luckily, it freezes beautifully in batches.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Okra Curry

1/2 yellow onion

2 cloves garlic

1 green chili of your choice

400-500g can diced or crushed tomatoes

1 Tbsp. ground coriander

1 Tbsp. ground cumin

1 Tbsp. smoked paprika

1 Tbsp. tomato paste

1.5 c. chopped okra

1 bell pepper

1 c. of the Good Standard Curry I posted a recipe for last week

Your favorite cooking oil

Salt & pepper

Chop your onion and garlic. Mince the chili. Fry in a little oil until just beginning to brown.

Add about a quarter cup of water, let simmer about 5 minutes while you are prepping the next step.

While the aromatics are softening, in another pan, fry the coriander, cumin, smoked paprika and tomato paste in a little oil about a minute, or until fragrant.

Add the canned tomatoes, stir well, and simmer 10 minutes.

While the tomatoes are simmering, Whiz the onion mixture to form a paste. Chop the okra and bell pepper.

Add the onion mix, okra, bell pepper and curry base. Simmer 20 minutes, season well with salt and pepper and serve.

I served mine with basmati rice cooked with a little butter – you do you.

Serves 4-6

A Good Standard Curry

This curry makes a great jumping off point for a whole world of sauces. It’s based on this British-style sauce from Great Curry Recipes, but with amped-up spices, since I just can’t help myself. I also turned it into a full vegetarian meal, and it was delicious

gluten-free, vegetarian

A Good Standard Curry

2 yellow onions

Neutral oil

4 cloves garlic

1/2 inch ginger

1 carrot

2 bell peppers

1.5 cups crushed tomatoes

2 Tbsp. + ghee

1 Tbsp. curry powder (your favorite style)

1 Tbsp. cumin

1 Tbsp. coriander

1 Tbsp. asofetida (fenugreek was called for in the original; I used what I had)

1 Tbsp. smoked paprika

1 Tbsp. turmeric

To turn this into a meal:

2-3 potatoes

1 carrot

1 can chickpeas

1 c. water

Lemon juice

Finishing salt

Basmati rice

Thinly slice your onions. Add to a medium- large pan over medium heat where you’ve heated enough oil to cover the bottom till slightly bubbly.

Fry about 20 minutes until really soft and clear with a little color.

While the onions are working, chop the peppers & carrot. Mince the ginger and garlic and make a paste out of them by crushing with the back of a knife or grinding in a mortar & pestle.

When the onions are ready, add the peppers and carrot. Fry 5 minutes to get working.

Add the ginger, garlic and all spices but the turmeric.

Add to tomatoes and enough water just to cover.

Simmer :30, and remove from the heat. Cool until safe to whiz.

Whiz to make a mostly smooth mixture.

Add the ghee to the pan over medium heat and fry the turmeric :30 – 1 minute to bloom. Add the sauce back into the pan and simmer over low for 20 – 30 minutes.

Now to turn this sauce into a meal.

Set the sauce aside, and add a Tablespoon of oil back into the pan. Chop and add the potatoes, second carrot, and can of chickpeas (drained). Let sauté a couple minutes to warm up a bit. I had intended on putting a little color on the chickpeas but I lost patience with life.

Add a cup or two of the sauce and 1 cup of water. Simmer :30, covered.

Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and a liberal sprinkle of finishing salt over basmati rice.

The dinner portion serves 4 easily, with enough sauce leftover to make at least 1 more big meal

Note: This curry is unsalted on purpose. The original recipe was unsalted as well, and I think that’s a good idea since it’s supposed to be used as a base for additions. I’ll be taking this curry and adding some fire next meal – along with more peppers and a deeper taste with tomato paste.

Quick Spinach Rice Lunch

I make this – or a variation on this – quite often for lunch later in the week, when I’ve got leftovers kicking around in the fridge, am out of my main protein, and still have some of this week’s spinach hanging around that is quickly going to age itself right out of my fridge.

For this version, I resisted the temptation to go Southeast Asian like usual (this dish 99.9% of the time turns out vaguely Japanese), and went Indian instead. I’m glad I broke out of my comfort zone a little and I think I’ll make this again on purpose for dinner some night.

gluten-free, lacto-ovo vegetarian

Quick Spinach Rice Lunch

1 cup leftover basmati rice

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons sesame or mustard oil

1/2 inch fresh ginger

1 clove garlic

1 big hand full spinach

Turmeric

Crispy chickpeas (these are my favorite)

1 green chili

To reheat your rice – any rice – without it drying out, add a Tablespoon or two of water, put the lid back on really loosely and zap in the microwave for :45 to 1:00. Boom. Steamed and refreshed rice.

Fry the eggs to your liking in the oil, seasoning with salt and pepper and adding a liberal sprinkle of turmeric when you flip. Add the spinach on top of that to wilt a couple seconds while the yolks finish setting to your desired doneness (I love a good runny yolk, so I separated my whites from yolks, scooted them to the side and added the spinach more to that side so I could see to yank the yolks when they were just barely set).

Grate the ginger and garlic into the rice.

Mince the chili (de-seeding if necessary) and add to the rice.

Add the eggs on top, along with a small hand of the crispy chickpeas.

Stir to combine.

Serves 1 for lunch

Peanut Scallion Relish

This simple Indian relish makes a great snack, breakfast, or topper for a wide variety of dishes.

Try it tucked into a chapati or roll – with or without an egg, atop a bed of rice (I’m particularly fond of sushi rice), bulked out with sautéed green beans, spread over a protein like chimichurri sauce, mixed into a stir fry (preferably with something sweet like red pepper), or mixed into a salad (this would be great with cucumber and mint).

gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, low carb, halal

Peanut Scallion Relish

1 bunch scallions

2 cloves garlic

1 – 2 green chilis of any variety

2.5 ounces roasted salted peanuts

1 Tbsp. ghee or other oil

Salt to taste

Slice your scallions into thin rounds.

Heat the oil in a pan over medium and add the onions. Sauté until beginning to brown.

While the scallions are working, mince the pepper(s), de-seeding if you want less spice.

Grate the garlic.

Crush the peanuts.

When the scallions are ready, add the chilis, garlic and peanuts and stir well to combine. Let sauté 1-2 mins to combine fully.

Taste for salt and serve.

Makes enough for 4 or so servings, maybe more if you use less as a topper for something

Dairy Free Tortilla Wrap

It seems like the entire Internet has lost its collective mind recently over these wrapped tortillas. I must admit … I was intrigued. I’d never thought to wrap a tortilla like I would a crepe and it sounded like the kind of magical lunch I needed in my life that week.

And then I started looking at recipes. Crunchwrap came to mind first, but the glue was cheese. Whelp, that’s out. I can’t do cheese cheese, and even store bought vegan melting cheese + my GI system are currently on the outs.

A YouTuber I follow (who actually introduced me to this fad; I’m not one of the cool kids on Tik Tok) made a sushi roll version that looked delightful and had rice as the “glue” (I tried recreating it for y’all and have thus far failed in my efforts). Which got me thinking … I’ve got leftover potatoes, and I want Indian. What can I do with that information?

Turns out, I can do a lot. I’m going to give you guys a full meal recipe here, with instructions on how to turn it into one of those cool kids wraps. Which is awesome, but you’ll have leftovers. Just slap the rest in a bowl and call it an Indian harvest spectacular.

Note: This recipe uses mustard oil, which may be difficult to source. I’ve included an Amazon (affiliate) link to help. I also included a link for the chicken seasoning I’ve been using recently and loving, as well as for the condiments.

Gluten-free if you use a gf wrap, vegetarian and vegan if you sub the chicken

Dairy Free Tortilla Wrap

This recipe is written a little weird. I’m laying it out in quadrants in the order you’ll wrap them. More on that later. I cooked mine in kind of reverse order, starting with the potatoes, moving through the protein, and ending with the veg. You may wish to do the same.

Protein Quadrant

Protein of choice (I used chicken cut into bite-sized pieces)

1 Tbsp. mustard oil (like this one)

2 tsp. mustard seeds

1 Tbsp. curry powder

Salt & pepper

Cut your chicken into bite-sized pieces (or a little smaller – ground chicken could also work)

In a medium pan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds and curry powder and cook until fragrant and the seeds begin to pop.

Add the protein and cook through, hitting with salt and pepper a time or two during cooking.

Set aside.

Condiment Quadrant

I used combination of two here: Bombay Sandwich Chutney and sweet spreadable mustard pickle. Indian pickle would be lovely here, but it’s definitely an aggressive taste.

Healthy Veg Quadrant

1 package broccolini, chopped

2 tsp. mustard oil (like this one)

2 tsp. curry powder

2 tsp. chicken seasoning (your favorite – I use Maggi)

In a medium pan over medium heat, bring your mustard oil up to temperature. Chuck your curry powder in and cook, stirring, until fragrant.

Add the broccolini, chicken seasoning and a sprinkle of salt. Cook until crisp-tender, adding a shot of water if the pan looks too dry.

Set aside.

Potato Quadrant

1 lb. baby potatoes

1 Tbsp. mustard oil (like this one)

2 tsp. mustard seed

2 tsp. turmeric

1 small onion, chopped fine

3 cloves garlic, chopped fine

1 Tbsp. butter, butter substitute or ghee

Salt

Set your potatoes to boil in a large pot with a generous amount of salt. Boil until cooked through and soft.

Drain and set aside.

While the potatoes are working, chop the onion and garlic fine.

In a medium pan over medium heat, bring the oil up to temperature. Chuck the mustard seeds and turmeric into the oil and heat until fragrant and the mustard seeds start to pop.

Add the onion and garlic and sauté, stirring frequently, until softened and a little brown.

When the potatoes are done and drained, add back to the big pot and mash roughly with a potato masher or beaters. Chunky is fine – I wanted my potatoes to have a bit of heft to them like my favorite Indian restaurant potatoes. Add the onion mixture, the butter, and a healthy pinch of salt. Combine well, taste, and add more salt or fat if needed.

Set aside.

Cut the bottom half down the middle. To assemble, wrap the lower left up, then both of those to the right, then the three to the lower right quadrant.

Assembly

Wrap a large chapati (Mission makes a decent one), roti, tortilla or other flexible and foldable bread in a paper towel. Sprinkle with water and nuke for 15 seconds so it’s bendable.

If you think of your chapati as a wheel with 4 quadrants, you want to cut up the center bottom until you hit the horizontal equator.

Wow, that was some mixed metaphor ish; hopefully followable.

In your lower left quadrant, arrange a little protein. Not overfull – think burritos, here. You don’t want to over fill those, either.

In the upper left quadrant, spread a little condiment.

In the upper right quadrant, add a little veg.

In the lower right quadrant, spread some potato. This quadrant will act as our glue.

To fold, carefully fold the lower left quadrant up (I kind of held the chicken in place as I carefully flipped the chapati up), fold the left side to the right (this went easier), and the top down so the 3 folded sections rest on the potato section.

You should have what looks like a folded crepe sandwich.

Pan fry until golden on both sides, kind of smooshing a bit as you do so it sticks together.

Cut in half and enjoy!

Makes a bunch

Indian Spiced Burgers

Our little Monday night burger night needed a little kick in the pants. We’ve been doing whatever fake meats our local market has on hand (our favorites so far have been the Beyond Burgers and the Quorn Southern Fried “chicken” patties)j, and it’s been going really well. This week they happened to be out of good (non-lentil, non-bean) options, so I went for something a little different.

It was a big hit with me; with DH, not so much. He’s much more of a traditionalist when it comes to “staple” kid-friendly foods and has to be in the right mood for anything too far off the beaten path.

gluten-free, paleo

Indian Spiced Burgers

500g ground beef

1 Tbsp. ginger garlic paste (I used prepared)

3/4 small bunch cilantro

2 small green chilis

2 tsp. ground coriander

1 Tbsp. ground cumin

1 Tbsp. curry powder (your favorite mix)

Juice & zest of 1 lime

1 tsp. red chili powder (I used cayenne)

Mince your cilantro and chili. Add with the rest of the ingredients into a large bowl with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Mix until combined well, but not gluey.

Divvy into 4 burger patties and fry until your desired done ness has been reached.

I served mine with Kewpie mayonnaise and a generous dollop of Bombay Sandwich Chutney on a soft bun. DH added cheese to his.

Serves 4

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Dilled Curry Potatoes

This sounds like a weird combination, but it works really well. Bonus: this side dish makes a great little flavor punch for pretty much any main component. I served mine with next week’s Indian Spiced Burgers the first night and leftovers with plain chicken in the next day’s lunch and both were flavorful and delicious.

gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Dilled Curry Potatoes

500g baby potatoes

Neutral oil

1 Tbsp. curry powder (your favorite mix will do, and some fresh curry leaves would also be great here)

1 small green chili pepper

1 Tbsp. ground turmeric

1 tsp. red chili powder (I used cayenne)

4 – 5 cloves fresh garlic (3 Tbsp. when minced)

2 Tbsp. fresh dill (or more if you have more – I would have actually liked a little extra)

Salt & pepper

Fill your largest high-sided sauté pan with water to 3/4 of the way up the sides, nestle the potatoes in, add a bunch of salt and bring to a shallow boil for 10 minutes or until soft. Drain carefully and cut into halves.

While the potatoes are cooking: mince the garlic, chop the chili pepper, assemble the dried spices, and chop the dill. Set the dill aside.

Add enough oil to your pan to cover the bottom, and heat over high/medium-high until the oil starts to shimmer. Add the potatoes, liberally salt and pepper, and give a good stir for a couple minutes until they start to color.

Add the spices and garlic and stir-fry until the potatoes are as browned as you want them to be and the garlic goes nice and crispy.

Transfer to a large bowl and toss with the dill to complete.

Serves 3 – 4

Indian Eggy Wrap

This recipe was inspired by the power of Instagram and has straight up become an obsession. This is half of what I’ve eaten in the last week, and I’m super bummed that I’m now out of wraps. I may just have to go to the store this afternoon for a resupply.

My version of this recipe is a blend of a Kolkata Egg Wrap posted by @playfulcooking and a good excuse to grab some of the ingredients for a Mumbai Street Sandwich posted one many forms by @saffrontrail. (Sidebar: if you love Indian food and beautiful photography, follow these ladies. They make some really inspiring dishes).

I took the eggy wrap constrict from one and just happened to run across a jar of Bombay Sandwich Sauce (a spicy mint chutney) in my local grocery, and bam. This lovely concoction that I currently can’t get enough of.

(lacto ovo) vegetarian

Indian Eggy Wrap

1 Chapati or paratha (fresh would obvs be best, but I happened to run across a whole wheat Chapati by Mission, and it wasn’t half bad) per sandwich

1-2 eggs per sandwich

A few thin slices cucumber per sandwich

A few thin strands of scallion per sandwich

2 tsp. – 1 Tbsp. Bombay Sandwich Sauce or mint chutney per sandwich

Salt & pepper

1 tsp. butter

Heat a small pan (roughly the same size as your bread) over medium heat. Add the butter and melt.

While the butter is melting, scramble the egg(s). If you are making more than 1 sandwich, make each batch separately.

Pour the egg into the pan, swirling to the edges to form a thin pancake. Season with salt and pepper and cook until solid on the bottom and still wet on top.

Nestle the chapati on top of the egg, pushing gently down to glue together.

While the egg fully cooks, slice the cucumber as thin as possible.

When the chapati starts puffing up a bit in the center, it’s time to flip. Flip carefully.

Back to finishing the cucumber and slicing the scallion thinly (I like mine lengthwise, but this is kind of a pain. You do you.).

Add a few cucumber strips and scallions down just to the side of the middle of the pancake. Drizzle your desired amount of sauce. Fold one side over to form a quesadilla-looking sandwich. Smash down with your spatula so it stays closed. Let cook another minute or so if the flipped side of the chapati doesn’t look burnt.

Best enjoyed wrapped in a paper towel to catch the sauce that will inevitably shoot out the end.

Serves 1

Curried Cabbage with Eggs

I was not sure this dish was going to turn out how I’d planned it to. I’m still on a Sri Lankan / curry kick, wanted to make some noodly cabbage, and thought I remembered seeing eggs with cabbage somewhere on the Internets or on a menu. Maybe. I’m glad I took a chance. This turned out fabulous.

Gluten-free, paleo, keto, vegetarian

Curried Cabbage with Eggs

1/2 small head cabbage (about 3 cups when cut into thin ribbons)
1 Tbsp. ginger garlic paste
1/2 red onion (about 1/2 cup diced)
1 Tbsp. madras curry
Pinch turmeric
1/2 tsp. chili flakes
2 – 3 Tbsp. fat of choice (I used ghee)
Juice of 1/2 lime

Cut your cabbage into ribbons and dice the onion.

Heat 2 Tbsp. fat in a large pan over medium. Add the cabbage, salt, and sautee until slightly browned – about 5 – 7 minutes.

When the cabbage is browned, push to the side and add the remaining Tablespoon fat, onion, curry powder, ginger garlic paste, turmeric and a bit more salt. Stir together and let go 1 – 2 minutes.

Stir into the cabbage and cook an additional 4 or 5 minutes or until the onions are soft and the cabbage is to your liking.

Take off the heat, sprinkle with the chili and stir. Toss with a couple cranks salt and the lime juice.

Place in a bowl and set aside while you make your eggs.

For The Eggs

2 eggs
1 Tbsp. fat of choice (I used ghee)
1 tsp. ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. madras curry

Put the pan over medium-low heat. Add the fat, ginger garlic paste, mustard seeds, turmeric and curry and cook 1 – 2 minutes or until bloomed (fragrant).

Break the eggs into the pan and softly scramble until almost dry. Cut the heat.

Add on top of the cabbage and serve.

Makes 1 dinner sized serving or can stretch for 2 for lunch

Sri Lankan Style Curried Eggplant

Mmmmm. I don’t know that this turned out *quite* right, but it was freaking delicious nonetheless. To make a well-rounded meal, add some rotisserie chicken to your bowl and top with this goodness.

gluten-free, keto, paleo, vegetarian, vegan

Sri Lankan Style Curried Eggplant

1 lb. eggplant
1/2 c. oil (I used coconut because that is what I had)
1 Tbsp. ginger garlic paste
1 red chili
1 small red onion
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. madras curry powder
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. honey or sugar-free sweetener
1 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
Salt

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high. While the oil is heating, cut the eggplant into 1-inch strips; dice the chili and onion. When the oil is hot, add the eggplant in a single layer with plenty of room (you may need to do this in 2 – 3 batches) and fry until browned on all sides. Remove from the oil to a plate covered with paper towels and sprinkle with salt.

When all the eggplant is browned to your liking, drain all but a Tablespoon of oil from the pan. Add the onion and chili and cook until softened.

While the onion and chili is working, make a paste out of the ginger garlic paste, mustard seeds, turmeric, chili powder, curry powder, vinegar, and honey. Add to the pan when the onion and chili are soft. Cook 3 – 4 minutes, stirring continually, to mix.

Add the eggplant and let cook an additional 2 – 3 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed.

Serves 2 – 3 as a side