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This title has been sitting in my notebook for a while, but I was never sure exactly which version I was going to use. There were dozens of choices though not once did I consider the ultra-80s pop-cheese of Phil Collins. In the end, I decided no one does it better than The Supremes. I grew up in Detroit in the ’60s and ’70s. I owe much of my formative pop listening to Motown. Their music is a blend of pop and Detroit soul with roots firmly in the gospel beat. A song where someone longing for love is told they “just have to wait” would usually be a heartbreaking track. Here it’s uplifting. A promise that good things come to those who wait.
As a counterpoint, this recipe requires little waiting and comes together in about half an hour. It actually took longer to cook the rice. It’s also a great recipe for freestyle. Use whatever vegetables are in season or suit your taste. I prefer a veg heavy curry with bite-size pieces on cauliflower, broccoli, and mushroom. They take a fairly simple curry and turn it into a meal.
I am a big fan of soup in any season, but I never make curry at home. It’s one of those foods I seek out when going to a restaurant under the “I can’t make this at home” excuse. I honestly don’t know how I reached that conclusion. It may have been due to my overall avoidance of making cream-based soups. It may stem from a couple of less than stellar attempts a few years back. Though it’s probably because somehow I thought it would be difficult.
In fact, this broth is very simple. A bit of onion, garlic, and ginger. Some full-fat coconut milk. Then whatever level of spice you want as determined by how much curry paste you add. I have lost my love of blazing curries over the years, and have dialed this into a level that makes the lips tingle but will not send you begging for milk. I initially thought about leaving the soy, sugar, and lime out, but, trust me, they really do add a nice finishing dimension to the dish.
Serve this over brown or wild rice for a very filling meal. If you’re feeling fancy, add a bit of fresh basil.
CAN’T CURRY LOVE
Red curry paste, coconut milk, onion, peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, and mushroom served over rice
Makes about 5-6 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, medium chop
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2-inches fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 large carrots, sliced on the diagonal
1 red pepper, sliced into 2” long strips
1 yellow or orange pepper, sliced into 2” long strips
3 ounces red curry paste
1 can (14oz) regular coconut milk (full fat – not light or reduced-fat)
1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
1 1/2 cups Baby Bella mushrooms, quartered
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1/2 tablespoon turbinado, brown sugar, or coconut sugar
2 teaspoons lime juice or rice wine vinegar
Brown or wild rice for serving
In a large pot, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, sprinkle with salt and cook for 3 minutes, until translucent. Next, add the garlic and ginger and cook about 30 seconds until fragrant.
Add the carrots and peppers. Cook until the peppers are fork-tender about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the curry paste, combine thoroughly with the vegetables, and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes.
Add the coconut milk and stock or water and bring to a boil. Stir in the broccoli, cauliflower, and mushrooms. Reduce to a simmer then cover and cook for about 7 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
Stir in the soy sauce or tamari, sugar, and lime juice or rice wine vinegar. Simmer for 2 minutes.
Serve over warm rice.