Week 2, Recipes 2 & 3: Winter Veggie Curry in a Hurry w/Raita

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray from her magazine

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1½ cups basmati rice
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 fresh or dried bay leaf
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 eggplant, peeled and chopped (I leave on half the skin—I like the color and texture it gives the dish)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • One 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
  • 3 tablespoons mild or hot curry paste
  • 3 tablespoons mango chutney
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 scallions, chopped, for garnish
  • Cilantro or parsley, chopped (a generous handful)
  • Slivered almonds or chopped cashews, toasted, for garnish


  1. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, over medium heat. Add the rice and toast for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in 3 cups chicken broth, the bay leaf, lemon zest, coriander, cumin, turmeric and cardamom. Cover the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 18 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork and discard the bay leaf. Add the butter and toss to evenly coat the rice; set aside.
  2. While the rice cooks, in a large, deep nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower, eggplant, bell pepper, onion and garlic; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Uncover and stir in the tomatoes, chickpeas, curry paste and chutney; season with salt and pepper. Stir in the remaining 1 cup chicken broth and simmer for 6 to 7 minutes. Serve the vegetable curry with scoops of rice on top. Top with the scallions, cilantro and almonds.

     Raita (recipe courtesy of my friend Saman)
    plain yogurt
    pinch of red chili pepper

    1) Toast cumin in a small pan over low heat until fragrant.  Add to yogurt.  Add water a little at a time.  You want the consistency to remain pretty thick.  Mince cilantro in the food processor.  Mix into the yogurt mixture.  Add chili pepper and salt to taste.

    Results: MMMMM!!  With the raita I know you're like what???  That is the recipe she gave me.  But I'd had hers a few months ago and it was AWESOME!  She calls it foolproof.  It was yummy with this recipe, too!  I left out mango salsa and cauliflower because I didn't have them.  This was really good!  And the garbanzo beans made me not miss meat at all!  I didn't do the nuts either b/c I don't like nuts in my food.  I also used curry powder instead of paste.  And I used regular rice instead of basmati.  It'd probably be better with basmati but I didn't want to spend the money on it if I didn't like it.  Turns out, I really really liked this!