We all have rules in the kitchen, some of us fewer than others. I would like to think that I fall into the fewer rule category, but, the few rules that I do have I am pretty sticky about. Yes, one of these rules are – I do not use pre ground spices. I will keep saying this till I am hoarse, once you try the freshly ground spices there will be no turning back. And, it is greener as you save a lot overhead that packaged spices such as jars bring with them and of course they are cheaper.
Now, this being said, even I surprise myself. This weekend, I wanted an all purpose blend for my stew, something I call my all-in-one blend and I did not have any around so I made it simultaneously while making the dish. I often do this for my simpler spice blends, such as the cumin and coriander blend here and for the more complex ones I tend to find quite Sunday afternoons to do them as my idea of fun. Yes, I know, I am a little weird that way, but I do love playing with spices.
Anyhow, I have to confess, the fresh power of the blend brought this very simple stew to a different level. Even, I was surprised since my blends are never stored for longer than 3 to 4 months. Now, down to the actual dish, it is a fresh tasting vegan dish that I was able to pull together with a batch of golden beets and beet greens and roman beans which not surprisingly is my legume of the week. This stew is my second in the legume series, pairing with roman beans and golden beets. Chances are that you will change your mind about boring winter fare, once you try this recipe. BTW, if you are looking for chili ideas that are off the beaten path, keep an eye on the blog or facebook page as I should be have a recipe or two along the way.
A delicate and flavorful curry with golden beetroots and roman beans with a recipe for a fresh curry blend thrown in.
- 11/2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
- 11/2 teaspoons whole coriander seeds
- ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
- ¼ teaspoon whole fenugreek seeds
- 2 dried red chilies
- 4 curry leaves (optional)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2-3 cloves
- 1 small (1-inch) stick cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon whole cardamom seeds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium sized red onion, diced
- 2 pods of garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons fresh curry powder (as per recipe)
- 1 cup of chopped boxed tomatoes or 3 fresh tomatoes chopped
- Salt to taste
- 3 medium sized beets, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup of beet greens
- 11/2 cups of cooked drained roman or pinto beans
- 11/2 cups of light coconut milk
- Smoky Paprika or cayenne to garnish
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- To prepare the curry blend, place all the spices in a heavy skillet and toast lightly for about 2 to 3 minutes. This is done to release the best flavors from the spices. It should be done until the air is fragrant but not really cook the spices.
- Cool slightly and grind the spices until smooth.
- Set this mixture aside.
- Heat the oil and add in the onion and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until the onion is soft and wilted and beginning to turn gently golden at the edges.
- Add in the garlic and the ginger and sauté well for another minute or two.
- Add in the freshly made curry powder, measuring about 11/2 to 2 tablespoons and mix well.
- Add in the tomatoes and mix well.
- Add in the salt and the beets and 1/3 the coconut milk.
- Cover the pot and simmer on low for about 20 minutes.
- Add in the greens and the beans with the remaining coconut milk and cook until it is heated through and the greens are wilted, about 4 minutes.
- Cool slightly.
- Serve in bowls, sprinkle with a little cayenne or paprika and cilantro and serve.
1. The spice blend is a basic recipe that can be used as you like in your favorite Indian recipes. 2. If you like it spicy, a minced jalapeno can be added in while the stew is simmering. 3. Soak 1/2 cup of dried beans overnight and cook for 30 minutes while the stew is cooking.