Summer Vegetable Curry

Summer Vegetable Curry

I’m a new member of the Park Slope Food Coop. The first member-owned grocery store of its kind in the US, focusing on sustainably produced and locally sourced foods. Under one roof you can find vegetables just pulled from the ground by a farm less than 100 miles away, cartons of eggs with handwritten labels, locally produced nut cheeses, spices lovingly scooped into individual packages by your neighbors, and pickled garlic scapes made in a shop down the block. It’s my latest obsession. I spend any free moment casually browsing the shelves for inspiration. Which explains the abundance of vegetables in my fridge. Every time I open the door their gorgeous colors stare back at me, begging to be cooked into a delicious meal. Curry time.

Curry was brought into my life by a good friend who showed me a thing or two in the kitchen. I learned the secret is in the homemade spice mix. That curry in a jar simply will not do. Trust me. Make your own and you’ll never reach for the pre-mix again.

Summer Vegetable Curry

Makes 4 servings.

2 tbsp lard
1 red onion – chopped
1 white onion – chopped
4 cloves chopped garlic
2 tsp fresh ginger – chopped
1 orange bell pepper – sliced
2 large carrots – chopped
3 cups summer squash – any variety
1 large sweet potato – cubed
2 cups water
1 cup beef stock
1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
1 tbsp fresh chopped mint
juice of 1/2 a lime

Curry Powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp cinnamon
⅛ tsp nutmeg
⅛ tsp cloves
2 bay leaves
2 tsp salt

Ground Beef
1 lb ground beef
3 cloves garlic – chopped
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp salt

►Combine all spices for curry powder in a bowl. Set aside.

►Put bell pepper, squash, carrots and sweet potato in a large mixing bowl. Coat with ½ of the curry powder. Set aside.

►Melt lard in a large, heavy pot over medium high heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and ginger, cooking for two minutes until browned. Throw in the vegetable curry mix and stir until well incorporated.

►Once the vegetables are well sautéed, about five minutes, add in the stock, water, remaining curry powder and lime juice. Lower the heat to medium low and cover for 15 minutes.

►While the curry is cooking, prepare the ground beef. Mix the beef, garlic, paprika and salt together in a bowl. Pour into a frying pan over medium high heat. Let brown on one side for five minutes then flip and brown on the other side for another five minutes. Cook until the beef is an even golden brown. 

►Stir the cilantro and mint into the curry vegetables. Let cook for five more minutes uncovered. 

►Ladle into bowls and top with ground beef. You can also serve with rice or mashed cauliflower.