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August 10th, 2006 (12:34 pm)

Penzey's has a lot of very high-quality curry options at prices comparable to the grocery store's. This is modified from a Rachael Ray recipe, as a lot of my favorites are.

Quick Curry
Servings: 6ish
Easyness: You will probably want to have the basics of saucemaking down, but the recipe and my notes describe it fairly well.
Price: Curry powder might be pricey, but make it vegetarian and it will be super cheap.
Meal: Dinner. I had leftovers for lunch today and I am STUFFED.

3-4 cups cooked basmati or jasmine rice
1 medium potato, scrubbed, chopped
1 medium carrot, scrubbed, chopped
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound meat or meat substitute of your choice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 inches fresh ginger root, grated
1 large yellow skinned onion, peeled and chopped
About 2 1/2 cups of broth, water, or a mix
About 2 tablespoons curry powder (I used sweet and wanted more heat)
About 1/4 cup mixed dried fruit, chopped (optional)
1 cup canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
Coarse salt
2 tablespoons flour

Optional toppings:
shredded coconut
chopped green onions
slivered almonds
fresh cilantro

Put root vegetables in a pot covered with water and boil for 10-15 minutes or until just fork tender. Heat olive oil in a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add meat or substitute and cook through until lightly brown, then remove from pan. To same pan, add onions and saute until softened and slightly brown. Add garlic and ginger and saute until you can smell the garlic. Add flour and cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add broth and/or water to the pan and bring to a bubble. Add curry and dried fruit and reduce heat to medium low. Add meat, cooked vegetables, and chickpeas to the pan. Taste and add a little salt, if you feel it necessary. Simmer curry 5 to 10 minutes. Serve with rice and, if desired, toppings.

Notes: I used chicken breasts, sweet potato, dried apricots and raisins, and sweet curry, and all of that together was a little too sweet for my taste. Next time, I will use a combination of sweet and hot curry, regular potato, more garlic (I used one huge clove) and something green (cilantro or mustard greens).

I have a feeling that as long as you maintain the method of

1)cook vegetables and/or meat and/or meat substitute
2)aromatics (that's the part with the onions, ginger, and garlic)
3)roux (that's the part with the flour)
4)deglaze (that's the part with the broth)
4)season and spice
5)add veggies and meat and simmer,

this would be infinitely variable.