Vegan Japanese Curry

Japanese curries are delicious – slightly sweet, slightly spicy, all-around amazing. A lot of recipes, this one included, involve making a kind of curry-roux before adding the vegetables and liquid. A little bit more work than most curries, but well worth the effort! Serve this curry on a bed of rice or with some potato croquettes (I have a recipe for those too!) to make it a full meal.

This is a slight variation on your traditional recipes, so I can’t claim it to be authentic, but it sure is good!

Prep time: ~1  hour
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

For the curry roux:

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced.
  • 2 tbsp ginger, peeled and finely minced.
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil.
  • 1/4 cup flour.
  • 2 tbsp curry powder.
  • 1 tsp garam masala.
  • 1-2 tsp crushed chilies.
  • black pepper.
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste.
  • 2 tsp soy sauce.

For the rest of the curry:

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced.
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-cm chunks.
  • 2 potatoes, peeled if desired, cut into 1-cm chunks.
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or water.
  • 1 tsp soy sauce.
  • 1 Chinese eggplant, cut into 1-cm chunks.
  • 1 apple, cored, peeled (if desired), and grated.
  • 1/2 cup peas, defrosted if frozen.

In a small saucepan, heat the oil on medium-low. When it’s hot enough, add in the garlic and ginger and fry until just fragrant. Next, add in the flour, curry powder, and garam masala. Stir until you have a thick paste, then add in the chilies, black pepper, soy, and tomato paste.

Keep cooking the roux, stirring until it just starts to get a little bit drier and crumbly. Remove it from the heat and set aside.

Put the remaining oil in a large pot over medium heat, then add the onions. Fry them until they begin to caramelize, then add in the carrots and potatoes. Fry them for a few minutes, then add in the stock and soy sauce.

Bring the whole thing to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for a few minutes before adding in the apple and eggplant.

Once the vegetables are all tender, loosen up the roux with a little bit of the cooking liquid before pouring it into the rest of the curry. Stir well, until the roux has completely dissolved into the rest of the stew.

Let the curry continue to simmer, and once it begins to thicken a little, add in the peas. Taste for seasoning, adding more soy sauce or pepper if desired, and enjoy!

This curry is also delicious when cold.

Advertisements

Mulligatawny

An English soup, based off of an old Indian recipe. The name comes from the Tamil words “Milaku”, meaning pepper, and “Tannir”, meaning water.

This soup often has rice in it, but I personally prefer to use red lentils – they add a nice colour to the soup, and they’re chock full of nutrients!

You can puree this soup if desired, but I personally prefer to leave it as is.

Prep time: ~60 minutes
Gluten-free
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup mild vegetable oil.
  • 1 onion, sliced into thin strips.
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced.
  • 1 zucchini, diced.
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed/minced.
  • 1 thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and finely diced (or grated).
  • 2 small apples, peeled if desired, cubed.
  • 1 can tomatoes.
  • 2 tsp curry powder.
  • 2 tsp ground cumin.
  • 1 tsp ground coriander.
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika.
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg.
  • 1 tsp crushed red peppers (or to taste).
  • 1/2 cup red lentils (uncooked).
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (you may want more).
  • 1 can coconut milk.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.
  • 1 small handful fresh coriander, to garnish.

Cooking Instructions:

 Place a large pot on medium heat, and add in the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions, garlic, zucchini, and carrots. Cook, stirring often, until the onions become soft and translucent. Next, add the ginger and the apples. Stir well, and cook for a few more minutes.
Dump in the tomatoes, along with all of your spices. Stir well, making sure the spices have been mixed throughout evenly. Now add in the lentils and your vegetable stock.
Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer gently for about 30 minutes. When the lentils are cooked and the vegetables are soft, stir in the coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper, then serve piping hot, with a sprig of fresh coriander on top.

Cauliflower, Potato, and Pea curry.

A family favourite, this vegetable curry is incredibly delicious and filling. One recipe’s worth will leave you with plenty of leftovers, which is great! You might find this dish a bit spicy (I used to, until I got used to spicy food), so if you have a low spice tolerance, you might want to reduce the amount of peppers you use. This dish is also great when eaten cold.

Prep time: ~35 minutes
Gluten-free
Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets.
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled if desired, cut into bite-sized chunks.
  • 1/2 cup light vegetable oil.
  • 5 tsp ground cumin.
  • 4 tbsp ground coriander.
  • 2 tsp turmeric.
  • 2-3 tsp red pepper flakes (don’t overestimate yourself!).
  • 1 1/2 cups green peas (frozen work great).
  • 1/2 can tomatoes (if you’re using whole, puree them before using them).
  • 2 cups boiling water.
  • salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:

In a large pot, heat the oil over-medium high heat. Add the spices and fry for a few seconds, then quickly add the cauliflower and the potatoes.

Fry for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the vegetables begin to brown slightly. Next, add your tomato puree, and stir everything well. Fry for about three minutes, until the sauce begins to thicken slightly.

Add the boiling water along with some salt. Reduce the heat, and allow everything to simmer, covered, until the cauliflower and the potatoes are cooked through, about 15 minutes, stirring often.

Add the frozen peas, and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the sauce is nice and thick. Serve hot, and enjoy.

Curried Eggplant and Chickpeas

Not a traditional curry in the least, but it’s yummy! The chickpeas add a nice amount of protein to this dish. This is also quite a quick meal to make, so it’s good for a weekday!

Prep time: ~25 minutes
Gluten-free
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed to remove excess starch.
  • 1 tbsp olive oil.
  • 1 onion, finely chopped.
  • 1 can whole tomatoes, sliced, with the juice reserved.
  • 1 Chinese eggplant, cut into half moons.
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder.
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or water.
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed.
  • 1 large handful fresh basil, shredded.
  • Hot sauce, to taste.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.

Cooking Instructions:
Place your rice in a rice cooker with the appropriate amount of water, a little bit of oil, and some salt, and turn it on.
If you don’t have a rice cooker, then place the rice in a pot with 1 1/2 cups water, a little bit of oil, and some salt, and bring to a boil.
Stir the rice once, then cover the pot, and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the water is absorbed, and then take the pot off the heat. Let it stand, covered, for about 5 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and fragrant.
Then stir in the tomatoes, eggplant, and curry powder. Season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, for about 2 minutes.
Next, add the stock/water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
Add the chickpeas and hot sauce (if you’re using it), and cook until they’re warmed through.
Remove the pot from the heat and add the basil. Fluff the rice with a fork, and serve the vegetables on a bed of rice. Enjoy!