“We haven’t had Indian food in a while,” said B the other day. He was right – we were on a stint for a while where we were having Indian food as our go-to takeout or eat-out option on a somewhat (not daily) regular basis. And it’s true, I can’t recall the last time we both went out for Indian food. OR Thai food. BUT I’ve been on a going-out-to-eat spree and didn’t really want to continue it. Between traveling for work, lack of groceries and birthday / friend / etc. meals, I’m somewhat getting tired of eating out. Just ask B – I go eat to eat 4 times in a row and I’m sick of it.
Anyway, that’s why I decided to make some semi-Indian/Thai-hybrid dinner from what we had on hand in our apartment. OK, it’s probably neither (sorry if you are an expert in either cuisine) – it’s just a vegetarian curry dish. Anyway, we go to the West Side Market nearly weekly and tend to stock up on a ton of veggies from our favorite stand – and last week I had gotten tomatoes, squash, eggplant, peppers, onions and more. Keeping this in mind, and seeing a few fun recipes online, I decided to recreate the Indian/Thai/Going Out To Eat food experience right from our apartment.
Eggplant and Squash Curry with Quinoa
Here’s what you need:
- 1 butternut squash
- 3 TBS olive oil, divided into 1TBS and 2 TBS
- 3 TBS cumin, divided
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 red bell peppers, diced and seeded
- 1 onion (I used a red onion), sliced into bite-sized pieces
- 1 medium eggplant, diced into bite-size pieces
- 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 2 TBS curry powder
- 1 teaspon ground cardamom
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
- 1 can (1 ½ cups) chickpeas
- 1 c. quinoa, cooked according to package directions (typically with 2 c water)
- ¼ c unsweetened coconut
Here’s what you do:
- Reheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Peel and cut squash into bite-sized pieces, about 1 inch squares. toss with 1 TBS of olive oil and season with salt, pepper and 1 TBS cumin.
- Place seasoned squash on a baking sheet and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until squash is soft and starting to brown.
- While squash is cooking, heat 2 TBS olive oil in a large skillet. Add chopped pepper, onion, eggplant, ginger and garlic. Add salt, pepper, curry powder, cardamom and 1 TBS cumin. Cook for 3-5 minutes, letting vegetables start to get tender.
- Cover the skillet and cook for 10 minutes or until eggplant is softened. Add in roasted squash, canned tomatoes in juice and chickpeas. Add another tablespoon of cumin. Cook for another 3-5 minutes.
- Add in cooked quinoa and unsweetened coconut and cook for another minute.
- B thought this recipe was “so so” and when I asked him what he’d change he said “maybe a little less seasoning next time.” SO please use the curry/cardamom/cumin guidelines to taste – you can always add more as it continues to cook.
- B also doesn’t like coconut so I only added a handful to the final dish, and mostly on the portion I was eating – feel free to add more, and even some coconut milk if you prefer coconut curry to traditional curry.
- I have used the powdered red curry, which is spicier than the yellow curry I have. Thus I didn’t add any chili powder. If you like it spicy and you only have yellow (not-so-spicy) curry on hand, feel free to add some chili powder as well!
Some questions for you: Share your answers in the comments – mine are in italic!
- Do you ever just literally throw everything you have on hand into a dish to see what happens? Yes, too often. In this case I was actually kinda pleased with myself – it seems pre-thought out!
- What’s your favorite Indian food dish? I love Chicken Tikka Masala or anything Vindaloo.
- What’s your favorite Thai dish? Any thai soup, or pad ke mao and I love their spring rolls!
- How often do you go out to eat? How often do you feel is “too much?” I don’t know why, but after eating 3-4 meals out in a row I start to feel sick/gross. Even if I’m eating healthy, I just prefer homemade meals!