(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.

Bengali Ghugni with Garlic Naan

Curried split yellow peas with ghee-fried green onions, tomatoes and chilies, served with oven-baked garlic naan..

Bengali Ghugni with Garlic Naan

For the Peas

1 cup split yellow peas, rinsed and picked over
3 cups homemade vegetable stock
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon curry leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1-2 hot green chilies, chopped
6 green onions, including green tops, sliced
2 small Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon ghee
fresh cilantro, chopped
salt

1/2 teaspoon hulled cardamon seeds
1/4 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek
1/2 teaspoon sweet cinnamon shards
1/2 teaspoon ginger root

Bring vegetable stock to a boil in a heavy saucepan.  Add peas, turmeric, pepper and curry leaves.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer until the peas are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 45 minutes.

Toast whole seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, shaking often until fragrant, about 5 minutes.  Add the remaining spices and crush together in a mortar or spice grinder.

Heat ghee in a heavy skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Add onions and chilies (they should be sizzling) and sauté briefly.  Add tomatoes and cook until all the moisture has been absorbed.

Combined fried vegetables with cooked peas and season to taste with salt and the toasted spice mixture.  Add chopped cilantro and stir in 1 tablespoon ghee to finish, then serve hot with toasted naan.

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

8 ounces organic all-purpose flour (can use sprouted or soaked flour)
6 cloves garlic, peeled, roasted and mashed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon unrefined sugar
1/3 cup fresh whole milk, hand-hot
1 tablespoon ghee, melted, plus a little extra
1/3 cup plain yoghurt, lightly beaten
1 small pastured egg, lightly beaten

Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, yeast and sugar in a bowl and pour in the hand-hot milk, ghee, garlic, yoghurt and the beaten egg and mix it all together to form a ball of dough.  Place the dough on to a clean surface and knead it for 10 minutes or more, until smooth.

Pour about 1/4 tsp ghee into a large bowl and roll the ball of dough in it.  Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside in a warm, draft-free place for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat oven and a heavy baking sheet to 500 degrees.

Punch down the dough and knead it again and divide into 9 equal balls.  While working on 1 ball, keep the remaining balls covered. Flatten the ball using your hands (or rolling pin) into a tear-shaped naan, about 6 inches in length and about 4 inches at its widest. Brush the top with melted ghee.

Remove the hot baking tray from the oven, grease it well with ghee and place the naan on to it.

Put the pan into the oven on the top rack for 2-3 minutes. It should puff up and brown slightly. It will go from browned to burnt quickly, so keep an eye on it.

Once puffed up and browned on one side, flip the naan and place back into the oven until browned, about 1 minute.

Wrap the naans in a clean tea towel and serve hot.

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.

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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