If you’re staring into a refrigerator with a combination of very fresh, slightly worn, and “what-are-you-still-doing-in here?” produce, leftovers, and half-eaten jars of miscellaneous mayhem, here’s the recipe for you. Just add your own bottom-of- the-bin veggies and your creativity!
Serves 4 or more
2 tablespoons ghee or cooking oil
1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
4–5 cups diced vegetables (e.g., potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, broccoli)
1 can chickpeas (optional)
1 can coconut milk or yogurt or cream or milk
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Cashews and raisins to garnish (optional)
Heat the ghee or oil in a large sauté pan at medium temperature until it start to shimmer. Add the mustard seeds and stir for 10 seconds, add the curry and cumin (or whatever spices you can find that smell like they will taste good together). Sauté 15 seconds and add garlic and ginger. Sauté for 1 minute, making sure the spices and aromatics do not burn. Add the vegetables one at a time, starting with the firmest. (If using potatoes it’s good to steam them for 5 minutes first to help them soften). Sauté each vegetable until it starts to become tender and add a pinch of salt; then add the next vegetable. When all vegetables are added, add another pinch of salt and sauté until they begin to become tender. Add the coconut milk or yogurt and canned chickpeas, plus another pinch of salt and simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Check for vegetables’ doneness. Add lemon juice and garnish with nuts and raisins. Serve over rice or with chapatis.