Would you believe I’d never tried curry until after I was almost ready to head off to university? Chalk that up to growing up in a small town where the most diverse food you could find was a Chinese buffet and maybe sushi at the grocery store. I’ll admit that growing up in such an environment often made me scared to try new foods, and the first time I tried curry (I was 16 and touring a Sikh temple with my classmates) I was so scared. Would it be too spicy? Would it be too weird of a combination of foods? Would I offend people if I made a weird face?
But the curry — and the whole meal, to be honest — turned out to be one of the best experiences of my life. Turns out, curry is one of the easiest ways to get in a ton of nutrients for cheap when you’re a student, so I loved making curries when I was in university, particularly potato and tofu-based ones (and I wasn’t even a vegan back then).
Anyway, my partner is also a big fan of curry (and being British, he likes his curry carby as hell) so it makes an appearance in our apartment maybe even once a week. This one was new to me — we only had split peas for legumes, and I’ve always had a weird thing about split peas (blame my mom’s affinity for disgusting Habitant pea soup when I was little). Nevertheless, this curry was not only delish, it was easy as hell and we made it using all ingredients that we already had. Who could ask for anything more!
Budget-friendly golden curry
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4-5 people
Allergen info: Gluten-free, nut-free, soy free
Kitchen tools required: Knives and cutting board, large pot
- 1L (4 cups) vegetable broth
- About 1L (5 cups) chopped Yukon Gold potatoes (about four or five fist-sized potatoes)
- 375 ml (1.5 cups) yellow split peas
- One small onion, chopped
- One jalapeno pepper, chopped and seeded (adjust to your spice preference)
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 15 ml (1 tbsp) curry powder
- 7.5 ml (1/2 tbsp) garam masala
- 10-15 ml (2 tsp-1 tbsp) minced ginger
- 5 ml (1 tsp) turmeric
- 5 ml (1 tsp) EVOO or other oil
- 5 ml (1 tsp) black salt or regular salt if you can’t find black salt
- Handful of spinach (optional)
- 1 tsp-1 tbsp corn starch (optional)
- Cilantro for garnish (optional)
- 2 cups basmati rice
- Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot.
- Add onions and sautee until transluscent.
- Add garlic and continue to sautee until fragrant (about one minute).
- Add jalapeno and continue to sautee (another two minutes).
- Add the ginger and the spices and stir to combine for an additional two minutes.
- Add the vegetable broth, potatoes and lentils, stir to combine.
- Cover and bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, reduce heat and shift the lid so it’s open a crack.
- Simmer for 20-30 minutes and prepare your rice according to instructions. Occasionally check the density of the potatoes and peas.
- Toss in the spinach, if using. Keep stirring until you’ve reached the desired thickness.
- Stir in some corn starch if you’d like the curry to be even more thick and gravy-like.
There are a million variations on this (I mean, there are on any curry, I didn’t invent curry), but tell me what some of your favourite curry experiments are. Ever tried it with mushrooms or brussells sprouts or something unvonventional? Let me know in the comments!