When you live in New York or any other international city, the term “comfort food” takes on a different meaning. On a chilly day, the warm spices of garam masala, adrift in a creamy sauce with the backdrop of tomato is perfect. And like most New Yorkers or Londoners, this recipe is a melange of cultures and adaptations making this South Indian/Anglo-Indian or Bangladeshi dish makes all of us feel at home, no matter where we are.
This weekend we are preparing this dish as part of an Indian-inspired menu for the luncheon of a dear friend celebrating a milestone, who is the quintessential New Yorker. We hope you enjoy it!
3 tablespoons garam masala
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1/2 cup trimmed and chopped cauliflower
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup halved Brussels sprouts
1/2 cup peeled and chopped carrots
3 tablespoons coconut oil plus (you may need additional)
1 large onion, halved and sliced
1 large red bell pepper, quartered and sliced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 to 5 curry leaves
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup Greek yogurt or full fat, unsweetened coconut cream if vegan
Peel and chop all vegetables. Blanch all vegetables except for the peppers, onions and chickpeas.
After blanching, place on baking sheets and cover with ice water until cooled. Then strain and dry the vegetables and place in large bowl.
Combine garam masala, turmeric, salt and crushed red pepper in a small bowl. Toss the blanched veggies and chickpeas with 1 tablespoon of the spice mixture.
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large dutch oven or cast iron pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions until transparent and then add the curry leaves and red peppers with a sprinkle of salt. Saute lightly and then add the blanched veggies, sprinkle with salt and finish cooking, stirring every 2 minutes, until browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the ginger and garlic and saute, stirring often, until starting to brown, approximately 5 minutes and do not leave the pot unattended. Burnt garlic will ruin your dish. Add the remaining spice mix; stir until fragrant and coated, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender, 3 to 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in the Greek yogurt. Taste for salt and spice and add additional Masala and salt to taste. Remove the curry leaves before serving. Serve with steam Jasmine or Basmati rice. This dish will benefit greatly from a Gewurztraminer from Bedell Cellars with notes of tropical fruit and a honeysuckle nose.