Curried Vegetable Stew

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups baby carrots
1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced
2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and diced
1 large green or red bell pepper, diced
14 ounce can stewed or diced tomatoes, undrained
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1-2 fresh chilies, seeded and minced, or canned chopped green chilies, to
1-2 teaspoons good quality curry powder or garam masala, to taste
1 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, optional
salt to taste
hot cooked basmati rice, barley, or couscous, optional
plain low-fat yogurt or soy yogurt for topping, optional

Heat the oil in a soup pot and add the onion, garlic, and baby carrots. Sauté over medium heat until the onion is golden, stirring often, about 10 minutes.

Add the eggplant, potatoes, bell peppers, tomatoes, ginger, chilies and curry powder or garam masala, and water. Bring to a simmer. Then cook covered, at a gentle simmer until the vegetables are tender but not overdone.

Stir in the peas and cilantro and season to taste with salt. taste for spiciness and adjust the seasonings as desired.

Mash some of the potato dice to thicken the cooking liquid. Simmer over low heat, uncovered, for an additional 5- 10 minutes. The vegetables should be enveloped in a thick liquid Serve in bowls alone or over hot cooked rice, barley or couscous.

If desired top each serving with a dollop of yogurt or soy yogurt.

Substitutions: You may use cauliflower instead of eggplant, chopped into bite sized pieces or use corn kernels in place of the peas. Sweet potato may be used in place of white potato.

Serves 6-8

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