Stalking the Waiter

Riffing on foods, flavors and methods, that would be telling.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Eating Vegan

Oh, my goodness. I had to come back and edit this because I forgot one of the main ingredients. If I'd had the pic...TOFU. Yes, there is tofu in this curry. See below for complete recipe.

I was too busy and hadn't yet started this blog when Becks and Posh issued their IMBB challenge last month to create a vegan meal. But I'm going to post this recipe anyway. I don't know why I came up with it in the first place, unless it's because there are just some times when you have to take a break from meat and dairy, but here is my:

California Vegetarian Curry

This is very simple to make. I make a fairly mild curry sauce, but you can make it to your preference. Mellowing the spices in the oil is essential, or their taste will be far too harsh and will not give you the composite flavor you're looking for.

What makes it California, in my mind, is the avocado and the fact that the veggies still have body. If you decide to use miso and haven't used it before, be aware that it is very salty.

Serve over cooked rice - I prefer Cal Rose, but use whatever you like best. I bet it would be great on basic brown rice, too. This serves two reasonably hungry folks, or more if there are side dishes.


  • 1 medium-size garnet yam, peeled and cut into oblongs, about 2"x1/2"

  • 1 whole sweet (Vidalia etc.) onion, peeled and cut into wedges (from top to bottom)

  • 1 whole green bell pepper, cored and seeded, and cut into 1" cubes

  • 1 barely ripe avocado, cut into 1/2" cubes*

  • 1/2 a block of firm tofu, cut into 3/4" cubes

  • Peanut oil, 2-3 Tbsp.

  • Curry spices or prepared Curry Powder, to taste

  • Vegetable broth (Swanson makes a decent canned broth) - separated

  • 1-2 Tbsp. Cornstarch, depending on how thick you like your sauce.

  • Optional: a dab of Miso for a fuller flavor, crushed garlic


  1. Prepare all the veggies (see Note on the avocado).

  2. Heat peanut oil in a saute pan over medium heat.

  3. Add the curry spices/powder and cook, stirring until their raw smell mellows - just a few minutes.

  4. Add yam and garlic (if you're using it), and cook, stirring occasionally until a knife just penetrates the yam. Don't overcook it, or it will turn to mush.

  5. While the yams are cooking, combine 1/4 cup of the broth with cornstarch.

  6. Add the onion, bell pepper and tofu. Continue cooking only until they are heated through - the veggies should still be crisp at this point.

  7. Add the remaining broth (and the miso, if you're using it), stirring to incorporate the curry seasonings.

  8. Give the broth-cornstarch mixture a stir, and add it gradually to the pan, stirring continuously, until it is incorporated and the sauce is thickened.

  9. Taste for salt and adjust, if necessary.

  10. Serve over rice and garnish with the avocado.

* Note on preparing the avocado: Cut the avocado in half, lengthwise and remove the pit. Using a paring knife, cut slices, 1/2" apart at the widest part, from top to bottom in each half, being careful not to pierce the skin. Then cut slices across from side to side, again, 1/2" apart. This will give you cubes, or as cubes as you can get from something ovoid. Put the pit back in and put the halves together - this will keep them from discoloring. When you're ready to put them on the curry, use a large soup spoon to carefully scoop the cubes out of the shells.

I love the contrasting flavors, colors and textures in this dish - the sweet smoothness of the yams, the stronger flavor of the sweet onions, the "coolness" of the peppers, the bite of the tofu, and, for me, the avocado finishes it off perfectly.

My apologies for still not having pics with any of these posts, but I'm having trouble getting my images in. This is such a gorgeously colorful dish that it really needs to be seen. If anyone knows the Blogger secret, I'd be thrilled to hear it. And, yes, I'm using the image button at the top of the post window.


Post a Comment

<< Home