Simple Vegetable Curry

Daniel Patterson, Coi

2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 onion, peeled and sliced
1 head fennel, peeled and sliced
1 bunch swiss chard, washed and chopped in 1″ pieces
1 spoonful butter or oil
1 spoonful curry powder
1 spoonful finely chopped ginger
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 cup water
1 block medium tofu, diced (optional)
2 limes
1 cup brown rice
1/2 cup lentils

There are ingredient amounts above to get you started, but really this can be made with whatever you have on hand. It’s great in the summer with green beans and tomatoes, and in the winter I like to use squash and hearty greens. It’s not, like, an “authentic” curry. But it’s fast and easy and tasty.

Cook the rice in 2 cups of water at a low simmer, covered, until cooked. If the water is gone and the rice still isn’t cooked, add a little more water and put it back on the stove. Cook the lentils in water and a little salt until they’re tender. If there’s still water in the pan when the lentils are cooked, drain.

Cook the vegetables with some salt, slowly, in a covered pot, until they’re tender. Stir them every once in a while while they’re cooking. They’ll release flavorful liquid as they cook – this is a good thing! Once they’re tender, stir in the curry spices and the ginger. Let it cook for a minute or two, and then add the coconut milk and the water, the tofu if you want*, and more salt – taste to know how much. Cook it all together for about 30 minutes, to let the flavor develop. Kill the heat and zest one lime into the pot. Add the herbs and the juice of both limes. Add as much salt as you like. Personally I throw in a little extra chile powder at the end, because I like spicy. Serve over the rice and lentils.

*could be any kind of protein – chicken, pork, whatever. Just add it at the same time as the liquid and cook it until it’s tender.