Tag Archives: curry

Thai Shrimp Curry

I love Thai food. I’ve been craving good Pad Thai for months now. I’ve tried several recipes at home to share with you that have all turned out poorly. But if I was to go get Thai food, I would be torn. Should I get Pad Thai? Or curry? Thai curry is so yummy. Either way I lose, because in the end I wish I also had some of the other.

Well, problem almost solved. While I can’t seem to make decent Pad Thai at home, I did find this awesome curry recipe. It was pretty straightforward, simple, and fast. All good things for a week night with crazy kids making time of the essence when cooking. This really made me feel almost like I’d gotten take out. Especially when my husband did the dishes.

Thai Shrimp Curry (Serves 4)

Thai Shrimp Curry

6-8 ounces whole wheat linguine
1 tablespoon canola oil
12 ounces peeled and deveined shrimp
1 cup vertically sliced onion
1 cup diagonally sliced celery
1 cup juliene carrot
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 cup light coconut milk
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste (see notes)
1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
½ tablespoon fish sauce
1 cup bean sprouts
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
¼ cup unsalted, dry roasted cashews
2 tablespoons lime juice, or 1 fresh lime sliced into wedges

1. Cook noodles according to package directions for al dente, not using oil or salt. Drain.

2. While noodles are cooking, heat oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add shrimp. Stir-fry about 4 minutes, until turn pink and cooked. Remove from pan without draining the oil.

3. Add onion, celery, carrot, ang ginger to the pan. Stir-fry 2-3 minutes. Combine coconut milk, curry paste, brown sugar, vinegar, and fish sauce in a small bowl or measuring cup. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add to pan. Cook 3 minutes, or until sauce thickens slightly.

4. Add noodles, shrimp, sports, basil, and lime juice (if using) to pan. Toss to coat. Divide into bowls. Sprinkled with cashews. Serve with lime wedges (if using).

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 440
Protein: 22 g
Fat: 16 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g
Cholesterol: 161 mg
Carbohydrates: 59 g
Fiber: 7 g
Sodium: 534 mg

Recipe Notes: If you wanted to use rice noodles, it would be delicious here. I just prefer to buy as few special ingredients as possible. I have regular whole wheat noodles on hand pretty much all the time. Make sure you slice the veggies very thin, as they don’t have long to cook. I did not find the red curry paste at my regular grocery store. I made my own, with ingredients I had from online recipes, such as this one. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, just kind of eyeballed it. The original recipe also called for sliced mint along with basil. I don’t love fresh mint in savory dishes, so I omitted it here. Please remember that shrimp is high in cholesterol when looking over the nutritional information and that dietary cholesterol is not the best indicator of what to eat.

Source: slightly adapted from Cooking Light

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Curried Squash Soup

Back in college, I got to try recipes as part of one of my jobs. Butternut squash soup was the first recipe, and I loved it. Every autumn, I would make it again. And progressively, I liked it less and less and each time. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. Then last October, I went to Panera for lunch one day and tried the Autumn Squash Soup. Light bulb!

All of that is to say, this recipe has evolved over time. I took my basic recipe and then edited it heavily with some copycat recipes I found online. The bad news is this is no longer a “one pot wonder” soup. The good news is that the flavor is a million times better. Enjoy!

Curried Squash Soup (Serves 8)

Curried Squash Soup

1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 medium baking or yukon potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 ½ tablespoons canola oil, divided
½ teaspoon cinnamon, divided
¾ teaspoon curry powder, divided
pinch of salt
1 small onion, chopped
1 sweet apple (gala, red delicious, golden delicious), chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon garam masala
¾ teaspoon cumin
6 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
½ cup orange juice
Chopped cilantro, optional garnish

1. Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil.

2. Combine squash and both potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon curry powder (make them heaping if you’d like), and salt. Toss together to coat vegetables. Arrange in a single layer on baking sheet. Roast for about 30 minutes, until fork tender.

3. When vegetables are almost done, heat ½ tablespoon oil in a bottom of a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onion and apple. Saute 3-5 minutes, until softened. Add garlic, ½ teaspoon curry powder, ginger, garam masala, cumin, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Saute 1-2 minutes, until fragrant and heated through. Do not let this burn.

4. Add roasted vegetables and broth. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes, until vegetables are soft and flavors combined.

5. Remove from heat. Stir in orange juice. Blend soup until smooth. Add more juice or broth if needed to thin out the consistency. Serve warm, with cilantro if desired.

Nutritional Information (Amount per Serving):

Calories: 124
Protein: 4 g
Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: less than 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 22 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 449 mg

Recipe Notes: Adjust the level of curry based on your heat preference and the heat of your curry powder. I currently have pretty potent curry powder, so these might be low.

Source: adapted from several sources online

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Curry Rice

Shortly after I got married, I was looking around for a rice pilaf recipe with some pizzaz. I didn’t want to always have to buy mixes at the store. However, a good recipe was somewhat hard to find. I finally stumbled upon this recipe in a cookbook, and it quickly became a staple at our table. It has some strong flavors, but not so strong that it overpowers the other parts of your meal. Enjoy!

Curry Rice (Serves 4-6)

Curry Rice

1 tablespoon canola oil
½ medium onion, chopped
1 cup chopped carrot
1 ½ cups brown rice
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons garam masala
½ – 1 teaspoon curry powder
1 cardamom pod, smashed open
3 cups water
Cilantro, optional

1. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrot. Saute for 3-5 minutes, until onion begins to soften.

2. Add rice, cumin, garam masala, curry, and cardamom. Saute for 1-2 minutes, until spices are fragrant but be careful not to burn them.

3. Stir in water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover, and cook for 30-40 minutes, until rice is cooked through and water is absorbed. Garnish with chopped cilantro, if desired.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 205
Protein: 4 g
Fat: 4 g
Saturated Fat: less than 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 39 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 18 mg

Source: adapted from Joy of Cooking

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Dal Makhani

I mentioned in my Chicken Shawarma post that I hesitate to use traditional names for ethnic dishes. This dish definitely falls into that category. I am not from India. I have honestly never consumed this dish at any Indian restaurants. I have no idea what the “real” dal makhani is like, other than recipes I have found online.

With that disclaimer, this is one of my new favorite Indian dishes to make at home. This comes together fairly quickly and packs a huge flavor punch. And it is the best way I have ever had lentils. Enjoy!

Dal Makhani (Serves 6-8)

Dal Makhani

½ tablespoon canola oil
½ large onion, diced
¾ cup diced carrot
1 small bell pepper, diced
½ jalapeno, diced (seeds and membranes removed per preference)
1 clove garlic
1 inch of ginger, peeled and grated or minced small
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¾ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 cardamom pods, smashed
2 cups pureed tomatoes (3-4 tomatoes pureed in food processor)
1 cup red lentils
1 ½ cups cooked kidney beans (about 2 cans, rinsed and drained)
1 cup water
¼ cup heavy cream
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Saute onion, carrot, bell pepper, and jalapeño until onions are softened and becoming golden. Add garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, curry, garam masala, and cardamom. Saute until fragrant.

2. Stir in tomatoes, lentils, beans, and ½ cup water. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low (enough to keep it simmering). Cover and cook for about 30 minutes, until lentils are tender. Stir frequently and add more water as needed to keep enough liquid to cook lentils. Just before serving, stir in heavy cream.

3. Serve warm over rice and garnish with cilantro.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 235
Protein: 12 g
Fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 14 mg
Carbohydrates: 35 g
Fiber: 8 g
Sodium: 104 mg

Recipe Notes: My curry powder is quite strong and hot, so I don’t use a lot. Feel free to adjust the levels of curry powder and garam masala to your preference. I have also used black beans in this. I preferred the flavor of kidney beans, but it worked well enough. I only found red lentils at my grocery store. You can use any variety that you like. However, look at the label to see how long they take to cook. If they take longer than 30 minutes, you may want to partook them a bit first, or you will need more pureed tomatoes and water. Your choice.

Source: adapted from http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/dal-makhani-restaurant-style-recipe/ and steamykitchen.com

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Curry Chickpea Nachos with Mango Salsa and Raita

Lunch is a really difficult meal for me. I don’t want to expend much effort, but I want something delicious. Sometimes, a pb&j is that sweet spot. I find on the weekends, however, a simple lunch just won’t cut it. Weekends feel like they should have special, slightly more indulgent meals to me.

These nachos seem like a bit of work, but they come together fairly quickly. And the reward is huge. Most things taste better on a chip with dip, don’t they? Don’t skip the salsa or the “raita” like sauce. Both make this dish even more special.

Enjoy!

Curry Chickpea Nachos with Mango Salsa and “Raita” (Serves 6)

Curry Chickpea Nachos

1 cucumber, grated (peel half of the peel if regular cucumber, can leave peel on if English cucumber)
1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
5 tablespoons lime juice, divided
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 mangoes, peeled, pitted, and diced
2 tomatoes, diced, divided
1 red bell pepper, diced, divided
1 red onion, diced, divided
½ cup lightly packed coarsely chopped cilantro, divided
1 avocado, diced (optional)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sriracha or hot sauce
½ large bag baked tortilla chips (basically, enough to make a good layer on a baking sheet)
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

1. For the raita, squeeze out and discard the excess liquid from the cucumber. In a bowl, combine the cucumber, yogurt, 2 tablespoons lime juice, and mint. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Can be done up to 24 hours in advance.

2. For the mango salsa, combine mango, ½ the bell pepper, 1 diced tomato, ¼ cup chopped onion, ¼ cup cilantro, 2 tablespoons lime juice, and avocado if using. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Can be done up to 24 hours in advance.

3. Preheat oven to 375.

4. Heat a olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute remaining onion until translucent. Add beans, remaining pepper, remaining tomato, curry powder, garam masala, and cumin. Cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes, until fragrant. Remove from heat. Stir in sriracha, remaining lime juice, and black pepper.

5. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil. Arrange tortilla chips in a single layer on baking sheet. Top with mozzarella, followed by curried beans and feta cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and chips are hot and crisp, about 12-14 minutes. Top with remaining cilantro. Serve with mango salsa and raita.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories:  403
Protein:  21 g
Fat:  15 g
Saturated Fat:  6 g
Cholesterol:  33 mg
Carbohydrates:  51 g
Fiber:  9 g
Sodium:  527 mg

Recipe Notes: I kind of chop all the ingredients at once, and even have made the dips as the beans cook. It works just fine that way, you are just very busy right then. The original recipe called for ground turkey or lamb, which I’ve subbed beans for, but I like going the vegetarian route. It also says to drain all the liquid from the salsa and pour it over the top. I kind of like the liquid in the salsa since I prefer to dip it. Draining the liquid means draining flavor to me, but you can try that if you prefer a “dry” salsa.

Source:  adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

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Aloo Gobi

I have to admit, I’m always a little nervous to try new things when I go to an Indian restaurant.  If I don’t like it, I’ll feel like I wasted money.  When we lived in Chicago, my husband found an “all you can eat” Indian restaurant that was very unique.  It had a few items on a buffet (lentils, rice, dessert), but most of the food was brought out to you in small portions, and you could ask for more of any item you liked.  Almost a dietitian’s dream buffet, because if you have to ask, you’ll likely stop eating sooner.  I also loved the small portions because I then had room to try 19 different dishes!  My favorite find in the bunch – aloo gobi.  It is a yummy curry made of cauliflower and potatoes. I knew I had to try and make it at home.

This is a great vegetarian dinner that leaves you feeling full and your house smelling delicious.  Also, it is cooked in 1 pan and will feed an army.  I usually serve mine with brown rice and maybe naan if I’m feeling industrious.

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Aloo Gobi (serves 6)

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced or 1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups water (see note)
1 large head cauliflower, chopped into small florets
1 teaspoon ginger powder or 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 to 2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
2 cardamom pods, smashed or 1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom
3 plum or roma tomatoes, diced
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen peas

1. Heat oil in large (12″ or larger) skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until beginning to soften. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

2. Add potatoes and water. Cover, bring to a simmer, and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

3. Add the cauliflower, ginger, garam masala, curry, cumin, turmeric (optional), mustard, coriander, and cardamom. Simmer, covered, for about 5 more minutes.

4. Stir in tomatoes, garbanzo beans, and peas. If pan is out of water, add about 1/2 cup more at this point. Continue to cook, covered, over medium-low to medium heat for 10 minutes (or until cauliflower cooked to your preference), stirring occasionally.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 274
Protein: 10 g
Fat: 7 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 47 g
Fiber: 10 g
Sodium: 166 mg

Recipe Notes: The original recipe did not have garbanzo beans. It included tofu. I prefer the garbanzo beans, as it is something I have on hand (and my husband doesn’t like tofu). Chop your cauliflower into SMALL florets. If they are big, it will take a very long time to cook.  This recipe is one of the few places I like my veggies cooked well, not just “al dente”.   The original recipe only called for 1 cup of water – but I find that isn’t enough. You can start with just 1 cup and add more later if you like.

I know it is a long list of spices, but there is wiggle room if you don’t want to buy all of them. I never add the turmeric, as it is mostly to give it color. I often forget the cardamom and coriander, and it still tastes great. The original recipe only called for garam masala OR curry powder, but that wasn’t enough for me. When it comes to the adding the spices, I would add the minimum amount and then increase if it doesn’t look or smell right. I often eyeball the spices (I did measure this time), and add more based on smell – it should smell like curry. That being said, we like spicy food, so I usually add closer to 2 teaspoons of curry.

The original recipe says 6 servings. If you serve it with rice, this could easily feed 8 people.

I did not include rice in the nutrition analysis.

Source: adapted from epicurious.com

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