Sometimes dinner is just so good, you can hardly wait for leftovers the next day.
This is one of those recipes. Vegetable Vindaloo is a spicy Indian curry, which derives from a Portuguese dish flavored with wine and garlic. Indian versions typically simmer with fresh ginger, extra spices, and vinegar, in place of the wine. In Indian restaurants, it’s often one of the hottest dishes on the menu.
But this version is vibrant without extreme heat, and it can amped up or toned down to suit your preference. If you like your food fiercely hot, use more of the serrano pepper.
Cauliflower and chickpeas have a leading role in this dish, in place of the more traditional chicken or lamb you’d probably find in a restaurant. A spectrum of bright orange, red, and green vegetables rounds out complex flavors, creating an indescribably satisfying combination.
Serve Vegetable Vindaloo on top of big bowls of hot brown or basmati rice. It’s also delicious with roasted or boiled potatoes. The next day, you may have to compete with other family members for leftovers, which are great scooped over warm, toasted flatbread, too.
Adapted from Susan Voisin’s “Vindaloo Vegetables” from FatFreeVegan.com
3 or 4 pitted dates, roughly chopped
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
3/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 serrano chili pepper, seeds removed
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 cups water
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
4 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
2 cups small cauliflower florets
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 15-ounce can, rinsed and drained
1 bunch fresh asparagus, washed, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small red pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups celery, sliced
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Place all ingredients for the sauce into a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Set aside.
Heat large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrots and 1/4 cup of water to prevent sticking. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook until vegetables are soft, for about seven minutes. Stir often, until vegetables are tender.
Add garlic and ginger, and cook one minute more. Mix in the spicy sauce, cauliflower, and chickpeas. Cover and continue to cook for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until cauliflower is almost done, but not quite.
Add asparagus, red pepper, celery, and peas, and continue to cook briefly for a few minutes more, just until vegetables are tender crisp, but still bright and colorful.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over brown rice, with hot sauce on the side.