Curry Favorites

I love the flavors of curry but oddly enough, I did not make an actual “curry” until just last year. In India “curry” refers to a stew like dish that can be made with almost any kind of meats and/or vegetables and is flavored with a number of highly aromatic spices; which Indian cooks blend themselves.  For these recipes I used a curry powder from the spice shelf at the grocery store. It’s a blend of cumin, coriander, chili powder, and turmeric, among other spices.

My curry powder collection!

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Curried Couscous Salad with Dried Sweet Cranberries

This was the first recipe I tried several years ago using curry powder and one that I still enjoy today.  It comes from chef Dave Lieberman and can be found on the Food Network website.

  • 1 (5.8-ounce) box instant couscous*
  • 3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 orange, juiced
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 to 4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced on an angle
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • Freshly ground pepper

Stir the couscous, cranberries, curry powder, salt, and sugar together in a heatproof bowl. Bring water (amount will be listed on package directions) to a boil and pour it over the couscous. Add the orange juice. Give it a big stir, cover the bowl tightly and let it stand, giving it a big stir once or twice, until the water is absorbed and the couscous is tender, about 5 minutes.

Fluff up the couscous with a fork. Add the olive oil, scallions, parsley, lemon juice, and walnuts. Stir around until everything is distributed evenly throughout the couscous. Make up to 2 hours ahead of time and keep at room temperature until you’re ready to serve. Check the seasonings just before you serve the salad and add salt and pepper, to taste.

Note: To toast the walnuts, spread them out on a baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree F oven until they turn a shade darker, about 8 minutes.

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* Couscous is a pasta and there are two varieties. The Israeli variety looks like small pearls.  The quick cooking variety is more common in the grocery store and resembles Cream of Wheat or corn meal.  Like all pasta, couscous can be made with either refined white flour or whole grain flour.  Read labels carefully if you are looking for a whole grain product.

Curried Tuna Salad

A few years ago we offered the Tufts University “Strong Women Healthy Hearts” class here at the hospital.  Part of the class was spent in the kitchen teaching participants how to cook healthier meals and this recipe was included with the curriculum.  I’d never considered adding curry powder or fruit to a tuna salad before but believe me, it works.  I’ve even replaced the tuna with chickpeas to make a vegan version on occasion.

  • One 6 ounce can tuna packed in water
  • 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons raisins (I use currants – they are smaller and I like their texture better)
  • 3 Tablespoons slivered almonds (optional)
  1. Drain the tuna
  2. Break up pieces with a fork. Mix in mayonnaise, add remaining ingredients, mix again.
  3. Serve on bread or lettuce leaves. Makes two servings.

The American Heart Association recommends a couple of servings of fish each week and this is a tasty way to get it.

Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry

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So last but not least, here’s a typical curry dish.  I used this recipe from Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes.  I added the last of a bag of green peas and did not use any cilantro. I also throw in a few large handfuls of fresh spinach near the end of the cooking time.

I served this over brown rice. Isn’t it pretty?

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Hope this post encourages you to give curry a try!

 

 

 

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