(Vegan) Curried Carrot Soup with Roasted Cashews and Coconut Cream

Heirloom carrots are simmered in vegetable stock with yellow onions, green chiles, ginger and garlic and seasoned with toasted coriander and cumin.  Served with turmeric-scented basmati, roasted cashews and fresh cilantro.

Curried Carrot Soup with Roasted Cashews and Coconut Cream

For the Soup

1 bunch fresh carrots, trimmed, scrubbed and coarsely chopped
2 small yellow onions, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly-grated ginger
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons coriander seed
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon paprika
1 small sprig fresh curry leaves
1-2 fresh green chiles, chopped
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
1-1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup coconut milk
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

rice
cashews
cilantro
coconut cream

Roast carrots in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Add onions, garlic, coriander and cumin seeds and roast 15 minutes more.

Melt coconut oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  When shimmering add curry leaf, fenugreek, mustard, chiles and coriander seeds.  Cook until the mustard seeds begin to pop and the curry leaves are crisp.  Stir in paprika and ginger and cook 1 minute.

Add roasted vegetables and stock and simmer 15 minutes.  Working in batches if necessary, carefully puree soup in a blender until smooth.  Strain into a clean pot and simmer 10 minutes.  Whisk in coconut milk and simmer 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, place a mound of turmeric-scented basmati in a bowl and ladle soup all around.  Spoon a little coconut cream over the rice and swirl into the soup.  Garnish with toasted cashews, minced chiles and chopped cilantro.

Red Lentils Tarka with Raisin Chutney

A warming and soothing vegetarian dish of red lentils seasoned with cumin, asafoetida, garlic and curry leaves, served with lacto-fermented raisin chutney and toasted flatbread..

Red Lentils Tarka with Raisin Chutney

For the Chutney (adapted from a recipe by Sally Fallon)

1 1/2 cups organic raisins, soaked in warm filtered water for 1 hour
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves
10 black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds
1/2 tablespoon anise seeds
1/2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons whey
1/2 cup filtered water

Place garlic and cilantro in food processor and pulse a few times.  Drain raisins and add to food processor along with peppercorns, red pepper flakes, seeds and ginger.  Pulse a few times until the mixture becomes a coarse paste.  Transfer to a pint-sized, wide-mouth mason jar and press down lightly with a wooden pounder or a meat hammer.  Mix salt and whey with water and pour into jar.  You may need to poke a few holes in the chutney to allow liquid to percolate through.  Add more water if necessary to cover the chutney.  The top of the chutney should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar.  Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 2 days before transferring to refrigerator.  The chutney should be eaten with 2 months.

For the Lentils

1 cup split red lentils, picked over, rinsed and drained
3 cups vegetable stock or filtered water
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black Tellicherry peppercorns
1 bay leaf

Combine lentils and stock in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Skim off any scum, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Add turmeric, pepper and bay.  Cover and simmer until thick and tender, about 40 minutes.

For the Tarka (adapted from a recipe by Madhur Jaffrey)

2 tablespoons ghee
1/3 teaspoon asafoetida
1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 teaspoon curry leaves, chopped
1-2 small fresh red chillies, chopped
1 clove garlic, coarsely minced
1/2 small onion, diced
1 plum tomato, chopped

Heat ghee in a heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the asafoetida and let it sizzle for 30 seconds.  Add the cumin and chilies and cook until the chillies begin to get crisp, about 1 minute.  Add onions and cook until browned.  Add tomato and garlic and cook until garlic is browned.  Stir the tarka (including all of the liquid) into the lentils, cover and let stand 5 minutes to combine the flavors.

Serve hot with raisin chutney and toasted flatbread.

This post is in support of Meatless Monday, whose goal it is to goal is to help reduce
meat consumption by 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.

Vegetarian Pindi Chana

A traditional, healing curry of tomatoes, onions, chiles, cashews and spices fried in ghee with chickpeas, plump raisins, fresh pomegranate seeds and cilantro.

Pindi Chana

Pindi Chana

2 cups cooked chickpeas
2 plum tomatoes
1 small white onion
2-4 small green chiles
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly-grated ginger
2 tablespoons ghee or clarified butter (substitute olive oil for vegan option)
1/2 cup large black raisins
1/4 cup cashews, chopped
1/4 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
1 teaspoon crushed star anise
1/2 tablespoon turmeric
1/2 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sweet cinnamon shards
1 1/2 teaspoons hulled cardamom
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon minced curry leaves
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup filtered water

Heat ghee in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and all of the whole spices (including bay) and sauté until onions are browned, about 5 minutes.

Stir in turmeric and paprika to form a thick paste.

Add chiles and tomatoes and continue to cook until tomatoes have released their water, about 5 minutes.

Add chickpeas, water, raisins and remaining spices and simmer 15 minutes.

Add cashews, pomegranate seeds and cilantro and stir to combine.

Serve accompanied with aged basmati rice or flat-bread.

Healing Tomato Curry

Tomato curry is one of the most delicious and nutritionally powerful healing dishes around.  Start with homegrown tomatoes, just-dug onions, coriander leaves, garlic and red chili pepper..

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Peel, seed and chop just-picked tomatoes and set aside.

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Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

Cook jasmine, aged basmati, or long-grain brown rice in bone broth, vegetable stock or filtered water with a spoonful of turmeric and another of black pepper.  The piperine in the pepper increases the bioavailability of the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties of the turmeric.

Toast whole cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, fenugreek, mustard and coriander seeds in a dry skillet until fragrant, about 5-10 minutes.

Add 1 tablespoon of raw, organic coconut oil to the pan and sauté the chopped garlic, slivered raw almonds, raisins, chopped curry leaves and chili pepper until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add reserved tomatoes, ginger, slivered onions and chopped coriander leaves and heat through, about 5 minutes.

Spoon tomato mixture over rice and garnish with yoghurt sprinkled with curry powder.

Pindi Chana

Spicy chickpea curry simmered in a tomato base with whole spices, potatoes and onions..

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Canned garbanzo beans work well here- try to use an organic brand that comes in a glass jar or a non-BPA lined can.

Cut potatoes into 1/4 inch dice and sauté in ghee over medium-low heat until softened, about 10 minutes.  Increase heat to medium and add diced onion, whole cardamom, cloves, slit red chilies, bay leaf, cumin, coriander, fenugreek, curry leaves and cinnamon.  Sauté until spices are fragrant and onions are golden brown, about 7 minutes.

Add chopped tomatoes, garbanzos, turmeric, paprika and ginger and 1/2 cup of filtered water. Cover and simmer over low heat until beans are tender, about 30-45 minutes.

Serve topped with minced onion and accompanied with grilled flat bread.


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