Monday, January 3, 2011

Just Say No to Eating Animals Monday: Volume 9, Happy New Year!

I’m from the south.  Even as a vegetarian, New Years Day is generally candied yams, Hoppin’ John, macaroni and cheese, and collard greens.  I love this stuff.  The problem stems from the rest of my family here in Chicago. They are from across the pond.  They don't like many meatless southern foods.  They do, however, love Indian food.

I stumbled across a recipe for a meatless curry that had sweet potatoes in it.  I then flipped it by adding black-eyed peas and collard greens.

 I ground my own spices for the garam masala

I think they were pleasantly surprised.

Vegetable Curry (Yippee this is Vegan!) Serves 6

2 T                   curry powder
1 ½ t                garam masala
1 large              onion (diced)
1 lb.                 sweet potato, diced
3                      cloves of garlic minced
1 T                   fresh ginger root, grated
2                      Rooster Spur (or other hot pepper)
1 T                   tomato paste
1                      bunch of collards, washed, chopped, stemmed, and blanched
1 can                diced tomatoes, chopped
12 oz.               fresh black-eyed peas (remember these)
¼ c                  coconut milk

Boil 2 quarts of water in a large pot.  Add salt and collards.  Cook for seven minutes.  Drain.  Squeeze all of the excess water out.  Rough chop.  Set aside.

Heat small skillet over medium heat.  Add dry spices to hot skillet.  Shake pan to make sure spices don’t burn.  Adjust heat, if necessary.  Spices should darken and your kitchen should smell like a market place (about 2 minutes).  Remove skillet from heat.

In large pot, use the same one you used for the collards, heat 3 T. of oil until glistening.  Add sweet potatoes and onions, stir to avoid them sticking to the pan.  Cook until everything is golden and there are crunchy bits on the sweet potato apx. 8 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium.  Make a well in the center of the pan and add the rest of the oil, garlic, ginger, rooster spur peppers, and tomato paste.  Stir the ingredients.  Add curry powder and garam masala and cook an additional minute (you want the flavors to bind).  Add collards and stir until all items in the pot are incorporated with spice.

Finally, add diced tomatoes, 1 cup of water, black eyed peas, and salt to taste.  Raise heat to a boil, stir the bottom of the pan and loosen all of the browned spices and seasonings from the bottom (this takes a bit of elbow grease).  Cook an additional 10 minutes.  Add coconut cream and heat through.  Serve with rice, or if you are lucky, some home made lime pickle.

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