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Vegetarian curry recipes

I am volunteering as a nutritionist in a local seniors program helping to plan the menus for their group lunches. As it is South Asian month here, we have decided for May to do a vegetarian curry. I dont have a lot of experience cooking curries so Im looking for your best vegetarian curry recipes with the following requirements:
-Healthy and low fat ( I am their nutritionist, after all)
-Low cost (no high end specialty items, we're on a really tight budget)
-vegetarian (not necessarily vegan) but I would like some source of protein in it (as legumes or tofu, for example)

Thanks so much!

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  1. Matar Paneer (peas with cheese or tofu) might fill the bill.

    1. A spinach potato curry is really yummy, a dash of ground fenugreek completes the flavour.

      1. You could do a dal (lentil curry) or chana (chickpea curry) or eggplant curry. If you are interested in any of the recipes, let me know!

        5 Replies
        1. re: Paula76

          I am! I think chickpea curry would be great if you have a good recipe!

          1. re: hungryabbey

            Here's a good one from Camellia Panjabi:

            Ingredients for 6 people:
            250 g dried chickpeas (soaked overnight)
            3 large onions
            15 g fresh ginger
            250 g tomatoes, skinned ad de-seeded
            2 black cardamoms
            8 cloves
            2 cinammon leaves or bay leaves
            15 peppercorns
            1 tsp cumin seeds
            salt
            pinch asafoetida
            65 ml oil
            1 tsp turmeric powder
            1/2 tsp garam masala
            1 tsp coriander powder
            1/2 tsp ground black pepper
            3/4 tsp dried mango powder

            Method:
            Chop 2 of the onions and reserve. In a food processor, pureé another onion with the ginger and garlic. Pureé the tomatoes separately.
            Place the chickpeas with their soaking water in a pressure cooker or cooking pot with the last chopped onion, black cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon or bay leaves, peppercorns, cumin seeds, salt and asafoetida. Bring to the boil. Cook for 20 minutes in a pressure cooker or 50 minutes in an ordinary pot. Drain and reserve the cooking liquid.

            In a separate cooking pot, heat the oil. Add the reserved chopped onion and sauté for 25 minutes or until brown. Add the pureéd onion, ginger and garlic and sauté for another 10 minutes.

            Add the turmeric, garam masala and coriander powders, pepper and mango powder and stir thoroughly. (Don't worry if you don't have mango powder. It works just as well).

            Add the cooked chickpeas and stir gently. Add the water inw hich the chickpeas were cooked and cook until tender. Add salt to taste.

            Hope they'll all enjoy it!

            1. re: Paula76

              As wonderful as that looks, I fear that some of the ingredients are too expensive for our budget (the fewer spices that need to be purchased, the better).. any ideas on how to simplify this to use less spices/ premixed indian spices?

              1. re: hungryabbey

                Here is a simple version:

                >>>>> PUNJABI CHOLE <<<<<

                4 TBS MARGARINE
                1 TSP CUMIN SEED
                1 TSP BLACK MUSTARD SEED
                1/4 TSP BLACK CARDAMOM SEEDS

                1 ONION, SLICED THIN
                1 INCH PIECE OF GINGER, PEELED AND MINCED
                2 CLOVES GARLIC, MINCED

                1/2 KNORR’S CHICKEN BOUILLON CUBE
                1/2 TSP TURMERIC
                1/2 - 3/4 TSP CHILI POWDER (INDIAN RED CHILI)
                1 1/2 TSP CHANA MASALA (MDH BRAND)
                2 TBS TOMATO PUREE

                2 CANS (19 OZ) CHICK PEAS, DRAINED - RESERVING LIQUID

                1 TBS YOGURT

                4 TBS CHOPPED CILANTRO

                SAUTE CUMIN, MUSTARD AND CARDAMOM IN MARGARINE UNTIL SEEDS POP

                SAUTE ONION, GINGER AND GARLIC UNTIL ONION IS GOLDEN BROWN

                ADD BOUILLON CUBE, TURMERIC, CHILI POWDER, CHANA MASALA AND TOMATO AND COOK 2 MINUTES

                ADD CHICK PEAS AND MIX WELL
                COOK FOR 5 MINUTES
                ADD RESERVED LIQUID AS REQUIRED FOR DESIRED AMOUNT OF SAUCE

                OFF THE HEAT ADD YOGURT AND COMBINE

                ADD CILANTRO AND COMBINE

        2. Do you have an Indian mkt you can get to?

          Web up recipes for these Indian "standards:"
          Aloo Gobi (potato and cauliflower)
          Saag Aloo (spinach and potato)
          Chana Masala (chickpeas in spice mix)
          Dal Makhani (lentils in butter/cream/tomato sauce.) - seen it spelled makhni, makni, mahkni etc.

          If you have an Indian mkt, you can start with pre-packaged spice mixes (masalas) to ease the task. I can recommend "shan" brand chana masala - but only use about 1/2 of the powder the recipe calls for. It's pretty salty. An Indian mkt will also have frozen paneer (cheese) and pretty much anything else you will need like curry leaf, fresh methi (fenugreek for your saag aloo,) garam masalas etc.

          3 Replies
          1. re: gordeaux

            I am currently eating a vegetable/tofu curry that isn't great because it's got that nutty tofu flavour. My local Indian grocer sells frozen paneer- could you quickly fill me in on how to prepare it in recipes that call for "regular" paneer? Thaw it in the fridge? On the counter? Cook from frozen? Steam it?

            1. re: Jetgirly

              frozen paneer you simply need to put it in at the end of your recipe frozen or defrosted to let it heat thru and absorb the flavors for the last five minutes of cooking your dish.

            2. re: gordeaux

              Spices are usually Much cheaper at South Asian markets than supermarkets, however the minimum quantities might be more than you can handle.

              Many spices used in curries are available in inexpensive small cellophane packets at Latino markets. Supers may carry the same packets but often hide them because they are pushing expensive national brands.

              If you buy whole seeds they will last much longer than the powdered version.

              I don't like mixes because that limits my options too much AND they can be absurdly salty. OTOH I do premix a little garam masala and 'curry' powder ingredients, then grind them just before use.

              Still searching for my fav recipes for you.....

            3. Buy the japanese style curry mixes. Either S&B Golden Curry Mix or Vermont curry mix. Pereferable the mild one. Japanese curry is a green type of curry.
              Cut up any type of vegetables you want, carrots, celery, potato, onion, bell peppers, etc..
              Add firm tofu just before serving, so it doesn't melt or break up to much.
              I usually use cubed pork or chicken.
              Serve over rice...
              Even add cutup vegan burger patties.
              Just follow packaged directions...takes less than 20 mins to cook.

              1 Reply
              1. I made a very tasty one the other weekend with Cauliflower, potato, chick peas and tomato.

                Tasty and inexpensive. I will dig out my recipe and post it.

                5 Replies
                1. re: salsailsa

                  I don't know whether the OP wants the recipe, but I know I do! I've been on a search for Indian foods to make at home and that sounds right up my alley (I have all four pieces of the puzzle in the house now.

                  1. re: TampaAurora

                    Here goes:

                    1- 19 oz can of chickpeas(drained)
                    4 cups of chopped cauliflower
                    1 med. potato, diced and boiled until tender
                    1 large onion chopped
                    1-19oz can of crushed tomatoes
                    4 thinly sliced pieces of ginger
                    1 tsp salt
                    1 tbsp cumin
                    1/2 tsp tumeric
                    1/4 tsp allspice
                    1 tbsp minced garlic

                    In a dutch oven, add some oil and saute onion, ginger and 1/2 tsp of salt. Cover and cook until onion is soft. Stir in spices and garlic and sautee a few more minutes. Add cauliflower and about 1/2 cup or so of water. Cover and cook until the cauliflower is tender. Then add potato, tomato and chickpeas, 1/2 tsp of salt and let simmer about 15mins.

                    Serve with basmati rice.

                    It's a fragrant curry without being "spicy." If you like it spicy, you could probably add cayenne.

                    1. re: salsailsa

                      It's on the menu for dinner tonight. I don't have a ginger root, I only have a tube of ginger. I wonder what the conversion is for a slice. I'm going to have to use a can of diced tomatoes I've smashed myself, too. What kind of potato do you use?

                      1. re: TampaAurora

                        I just used a good sized red potato. I find russets too mealy.

                        The ginger slices are fairly thin but long. 1/2 TBSP ?

                  2. I do tons of vegetarian curries with whatever vegetables are around. The basic process for me is to cook some vegetables with beans or tofu, stir in curry paste (super concentrated so dinner for two uses only a teaspoon or so), add liquid, reduce. I like the tomato-cumin curry paste most, and other red varieties, but have also used the yellow varieties. I like Patak's brand.

                    Ingredients are usually some combination of onion, ginger, chickpeas, peas, sweet potaotes, yukon gold potatoes, tofu, lentils, spinach. Liquid can be tomato sauce, chicken stock, coconut milk, or a mixture of these.

                    1. We recently made a vegetarian curry with sweet potatoes, eggplant, green beans and chickpeas which turned out to be very good. It is low fat and shouldn't cost much:

                      http://twofoodiesonejourney.blogspot....

                      1. This is by no means traditional, but it's easy and delicious - and super healthy. I make it often for a weeknight meal. The quinoa provides the protein. I think you could also add some chickpeas in place of the green peas, that might be good.

                        I particularly love red quinoa - does any one else agree?

                        Curried Quinoa with Cauliflower

                        2 T. oil (canola, high-oleic safflower, or olive oil)
                        1 medium onion, chopped
                        3 cloves garlic, minced
                        1 T. minced fresh ginger
                        1 carrot, cut into 1/2 inch half-moons
                        1 small head cauliflower, broken into small florets
                        1/4 tsp. salt, or more to taste
                        5 t. curry powder
                        1/4 t. cayenne pepper
                        1 cup water
                        1 cup frozen peas

                        1 cup quinoa (recommend Ancient Harvest’s no-rinse variety)

                        Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, garlic and carrot, and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower, spices and salt, and cook for another minute. Add 1 cup water, then cover and simmer for 12-15 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Add the peas during the last minute of cooking.

                        Meanwhile, cook quinoa according to the package directions. Mix the curried vegetables into the quinoa and serve. Top with nonfat yogurt or raita, and toasted slivered almonds.

                        You can see the photo at http://whatwouldcathyeat.com/2010/03/...