Winter vegetable curry

  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 (8-cm) chunk fresh ginger, peeled
  • 45g unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp Madras-style curry powder
  • 225g whole, peeled tomatoes (in juice), roughly chopped
  • 250ml whole milk yoghurt
  • 500ml water
  • 2 tsp salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 small turnips, peeled, quartered
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 5-cm chunks
  • 450g butternut squash, seeded, cut into 3-cm wedges
  • 1 (about 225g) small courgette, cut into 5-cm rounds
  • 1 (400g) tin chickpeas, rinsed, drained
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Serving suggestions: Basmati rice and chutney

Serves: 4 (2-cup) servings

1) Puree the garlic and ginger in a small food processor (mini-chopper). Set aside.

2) Heat the butter in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the cinnamon, bay leaf, garlic-ginger paste and curry powder and cook, stirring, until lightly browned and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomato and yoghurt and cook, stirring, until they separate from the oil and there is a distinctive sizzling sound, as the sauce "fries" in the oil, about 7 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring, for about 1 minute more.

3) Add the water, salt and vegetables and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add the chickpeas, bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender and the liquid thickens, about 5 minutes more.

Season the curry with salt and pepper, to taste, and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with basmati rice and chutney.

Cook's note: You may add or substitute any number of vegetables as you like in this recipe. Okra or any sort of sturdy green, such as kale, would be welcome additions. Cauliflower and green beans are also good, but add them later, after the root vegetables have simmered for 10 minutes.

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