Today, I am posting Vegetable Korma, an Indian side dish (meaning from India, not from Native Americans) because I help with an international student Bible study/dinner, and many of the students are from India. Most of them are also vegetarians, so now I had two challenges. How do I find a recipe that uses Indian spice correctly, and how can I make a vegetable dish that does not contain olive oil, tomatoes, or parmesan cheese, which are my favorite ingredients? The answer, dear readers, is to purloin a recipe from somewhere else other than my own cookbook library. (Purloin is a fancy word for steal.)
I remembered that on Mother’s Day my daughter made a dish that tasted like the spices from India. She called it Vegetable Korma, and said she found the recipe in a Family Circle issue while looking for something vegetarian for her fiancé. I called her for the recipe and doubled the amount to be enough for 20 – 25 students. While I was making it, I thought it was way too spicy – filled with curry powder – and I worried that I had put in too much.
All the same, I brought my version of Vegetable Korma to the Bible study, and I was thrilled when the students gobbled it up, saying it tasted like something their granny used to make for them. When I asked them if it was too spicy, they looked at each other trying hard not to laugh, so obviously I could have kicked it up much more. Still, they took home all the leftovers, so I prefer to think it was because they loved the dish, and not because they are poor desperate students who will eat anything that is free.
2 tablsp vegetable oil
2 onions, sliced
2 tablsp chopped ginger
4 teasps curry powder
1 large can diced tomatoes
6 cups of cauliflower florets
1/2 cup yellow lentils or 1 can cooked lentils
3/4 teasp salt
1 cup hot water
1 bag baby spinach
1 can chick peas, drained
1 cup plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup chopped honey roasted almonds (optional)
Stir in the curry powder, diced tomatoes, cauliflower, lentils, salt and water. Stir together until mixture comes to a nice simmer. Cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, test to make sure the lentils and cauliflower are soft enough. I simmered it a bit longer and added more diced tomatoes until the lentils were soft and the cauliflower was tender, but not mushy.
Simmer until all is hot. Turn off the heat and cover until ready to serve. Serve with basmati rice and pita bread or naan bread. Just as a note, I have made this twice and the lentils always took longer to cook than the cauliflower. I am going to try canned cooked lentils next time.
I forgot to take a picture of this dish on the buffet table at the student Bible study, so I will have to make it again. Until then, the picture in the pot shows you how it looks when it is done.