Saturday, November 10, 2012

Jalfrezi Curry With Vegetables and Chana Dal

Jamie Oliver Jalfrezi Curry With Vegetables and Chana Dal Recipe

Are you a curry fan?

My husband and I love curry and I have made my fair share of decent at-home versions using jars of purchased curry paste. But now enter Jamie Oliver and the curries have gone from decent to out-of-this world. Better than I have tasted at any local Indian restaurant in my area. His secret?  Homemade curry paste and the deeper fragrance and spice that only it can deliver.

And homemade curry goes beyond better taste. If you look at the anti-inflammatory food pyramid and anti-oxidant food lists, you'll see that many curry ingredients are included:  ginger, garlic, tomatoes, turmeric, chili peppers.

This is essentially Jamie Oliver's Jalfrezi recipe but I have swapped in Chana dal, something I am always looking to incorporate into my diet.  Have you had it before? Chana dal is a food favored by nutritionists.  An Indian food staple, it is similar to a hulled chick pea and is one of the best sources of vegetarian protein. And it's low glycemic.


Jalfrezi Curry With Vegetables and Chana Dal

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 fresh red chili pepper, sliced
1 or 2 fresh habanaro, diced (optional, only if you like heat)
1 thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and diced
1 small bunch of cilantro, leaves removed from stalks, leaves reserved, stalks chopped and reserved
2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 cauliflower, leaves and most of stalk removed, florets broken into bite size pieces, a few stocks chopped
3 ripe tomatoes, quartered and each quarter cut in half lengthwise
1 small butternut squash, peeled seeded and cut into 1" cubes  (buying pre-packaged cubed squash is worth it)
canola oil
1 pat of butter
2-14 oz cans of diced tomatoes
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
2 lemons
1 c low fat yogurt
- and for the curry paste:
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
a thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
1 t turmeric
1/2 t sea salt
2T peanut oil
2 T tomato paste
1 fresh green chili
a small bunch of cilantro
1 t fenugreek (found at gourmet and ethnic markets, Whole Foods and Penzey's Spices)
1 t coriander
2 t cumin seeds
1 t brown mustard seed

Prepare the curry paste
Place cumin seeds and mustard seeds in a small non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Toast until they become fragrant, watching closely and giving the pan a few good jiggles to prevent burning, about 1 minute. Place seeds and remaining curry paste ingredients in a food processor or grinder and  process until you have a paste. Set aside.

Prepare the curry
In a large saute pan or pot, heat butter and a couple of T of oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions,
chili(s), ginger, garlic and cilantro stalks.  Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the peppers, butternut squash, and curry paste and stir well.  Add the cauliflower, fresh and canned tomatoes and vinegar. Fill one empty can with water, pour into the pan and stir. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer low for 45 minutes until vegetables are tender. Stir occasionally and when complete, season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in juice from one half lemon.

While the curry is simmering, prepare the chana dal according to the packaging instructions. About 3 cups is a nice amount for this dish.

To serve: divide chanal dal between 6 plates, ladle vegetable curry on top followed by a large dollop of yogurt. Finish with cilantro leaves and serve with lemon wedges.

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Source:  Adapted from Jamie Oliver, Jamie's Food Revolution

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