All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015
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I fucking love Indian food. I always have. I have posted many Indian recipes & Indian food is the easiest way to feed someone vegan food without them noticing. If you research, you will find that most recipes have largely overlapping ingredients. If you intend to get into cooking Indian food – the critical spices (outside of cumin & coriander) are garam masala & cardamom. If your local market does not carry the spices you need – and there is no local Indian spice source (ethnic markets are THE BEST resource for cheap spices) – buy them on Amazon. This recipe calls for fenugreek (or kasuri methi) but I read that celery seeds are a decent substitute. If you can’t find either – blow it off.
If you are accustomed to cooking Indian food – you might notice I tend to use far larger amounts of the spices than your average recipes. The measurements are very forgiving, though, so don’t worry if you want to use more – or less – than what I suggest.
I used a vegan goat cheese that I bought at a Soledad Santuary stand at the Hollywood farmer’s market. If you live in Hollywood or can make it to that market – look for them. They recently turned vegan & are experimenting making many kinds of vegan cheese. (If you get there – BTW – look for Dave’s Korean stand, too. Their tempah is INSANE!) You can use any soft vegan cheese (cream cheese or yogurt or goat cheese – if you can find some). If you are not vegan – a Boursin or garlic/chive cream cheese would work. You just need some sort of “dairy” to mellow out the overall flavor.
Vegan Aloo Palak (Indian Spinach & Potato Curry)
Serves 4-6 with rice
1 1/2 – 2 lbs fresh spinach (You can use canned or frozen but the flavor will not be the same & you won’t get the vibrant green color. Google Aloo Palak & see how ugly it can look. LOL)
3 large red potatoes – cubed
1 large onion – diced
1-3 jalapenos (to taste) – chopped (remove seeds to lessen the heat)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp cumin
1 TBS turmeric
1 TBS fresh ginger – minced (I used jarred)
1 TBS garlic – minced (I used jarred)
1-3 tsp chili powder (I used 3 but I like heat)
1 TBS ground coriander
1 tsp dry fenugreek (or celery seeds) – OPTIONAL
1 TBS garam masala
1/2 cup vegan soft cheese
Garnish – cooked rice and/or naan
Boil a large pot of water & blanch the spinach by immersing it for 30 seconds to a minute – so it wilts. Plunge into cold water & drain.
Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil & pan fry the potatoes until they begin to brown – turning often. This might cook them through – depending on how large your cubes are. If it doesn’t do not worry. They can cook more in the spinach. Set aside.
In that same pan – heat another TBS olive oil & add the cumin seeds. Once they begin to sputter, add the onion, jalapeno, garlic, ginger, & spices. Cook until the onion is soft.
In a food processor – blend the onion mix. Then – add the drained spinach & puree. Return this to the pan. Stir in the cheese & add the potatoes. Heat through & be sure your potatoes are soft. You may have to add between 1-2 cups of water to thin it out. If it is too thick add more water. Too thin? Cook it down.
Serve with rice or naan – or eat it naked! I mean – the spinach & potatoes could be naked – as the potato adds a starch to the dish, already. But – if you wanna be naked yourself – I don’t see a problem with that. Your roommate or children might feel awkward but fuck’m. You just made motherfuckin’ Aloo Palak. What the fuck have they achieved lately? Probably not appreciate you enough, that’s what.
See my point? Might as well swill some wine, too. Haters gonna hate. No reason for you to give any fucks at all. Eat, drink & be proud you just made a yummy vegan meal!