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Coconut-Ginger Curry

6 cups hot cooked basmati rice
4 tablespoons vegetable oil (preferably canola oil)
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
2 tablespoons garlic, crushed
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 15-ounce can coconut milk (lowfat or regular)
1 1/2 pounds waxy potatoes (red, new or Yukon -- not russet), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
3/4 pound winter squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
3/4 pound cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
3/4 pound carrots, cut into 1-inch chunks
3/4 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
3/4 pound onion, sliced into half-moons
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons turmeric
up to 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
crushed red pepper to taste (about 1 teaspoon)
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted

Coconut-ginger curry with mixed greens and rice. (Matt Freed, Post-Gazette)

While making the curry, cook the rice. Use enough to make 6 to 8 cups (depending on the number of diners).

To make the coconut-spice paste, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium-size skillet. Add cumin seeds, coriander seeds and ginger and saute over medium heat until the seeds pop (about 5 minutes). Add garlic and shredded coconut and saute another 2 to 3 minutes, or until coconut is lightly toasted. Transfer to small blender or spice grinder and add about 1/4 cup of the coconut milk. Puree to a smooth paste and set aside. (You can add a little more of the coconut milk if neded, to make the paste really smooth).

In a large pot, steam potatoes and squash together until they are slightly tender (about half done). Add cauliflower, carrots and green beans and continue to steam until all vegetables are done. (Make sure potatoes and squash are thoroughly cooked, not al dente. The other vegetables can be slightly crisp.) Refresh under cold running water and set in a colander to drain.

While vegetables are steaming and draining, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil in a big deep skillet or large pot (big enough to hold all the vegetables). Add the onion, salt and turmeric and saute for about 8 to 10 minutes over medium heat or until the onion is translucent. Add the coconut-spice paste and stir together. Add the steamed vegetables and stir until the vegetables are well coated. Pour in the remaining coconut milk (you can use the coconut milk to rinse the last of the spice mixture out of the blender, then add it all). Stir well.

Bring to a low simmer. Cover and continue to simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add salt to taste. Add lime juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, to taste. Add red pepper flakes, a quarter teaspoon at a time, to taste. Add thoroughly defrosted peas to top of curry, cover and let sit for a couple of minutes to warm the peast.

Serve hot over basmati rice.

Serves 6 to 8.

From "Hope's Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet" by Frances Moore Lappe and Anna Lappe.

Monday, April 22, 2002

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