Currry IngredientsThe other day, I pulled open my vegetable drawers and saw: two bags of greens, half an onion, garlic, a pile of sweet peppers, cilantro, basil, some sweet potatoes, a couple of eggplants, carrots, green beans and okra.  Only one word came to mind, Curry!

I had an hour until dinner, so I got right to work.  First, I pulled a container of chick peas from the freezer.  I chopped the onion and garlic and began sauteing them in olive oil in a big pot.  I started some water boiling for brown rice and turned the oven on to 350 degrees.

While the garlic and onion sizzled away, I chopped the okra into 1/4 inch rounds, tossed it with olive oil, minced garlic, and a light mixture of corn meal, onion powder, salt and pepper.  I put the okra into a 9″ x 13″ pan and set it in the oven for 45 minutes.

Next,  I went to my cupboard and got a can of coconut milk and one of tomatoes.  I cut the carrots, green beans and sweet potatoes into bite-sized pieces and added them to the curry pot.  I added the coconut milk, tomatoes and two cups of veggie broth.

I started rinsing and chopping the greens.  First, I removed the stems, chopped them and threw them into the curry pot.  Then I stacked the greens on the cutting board and sliced them into thin strips about 2 inches long and put them aside.

When the curry came to a boil, I added the peppers (in big pieces) and the chick peas and turned the pot down to simmer.  Then I added one tablespoon each of curry powder, cumin and cinnamon and some salt and cayenne.  I checked the okra and flipped it with a spatula.

As soon as the carrots and potatoes were fork tender, I turned off the heat, added 1/2 a cup of peanut butter, adjusted the seasoning and stirred in the greens.  I sliced the basil and cilantro into thin strips to use as garnish.  By now the the rice was done, so I opened a can of sweet peaches that we’d put up in July, pulled the crispy roasted okra from the oven and got out the peanuts.

Then we sat down to one of our favorite meals.  We scooped some rice into a bowl, sprinkled it with basil and cilantro, ladled thick, rich curry on top and garnished with okra, peaches and peanuts.

Curry is the perfect fall meal!  It feeds a lot of people so we trotted the leftovers out for a potluck later in the week.  And it freezes very well for those times when we don’t have a potluck lined up.

When you find yourself with a mish mash of fresh vegetables, don’t worry – just make curry!

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.

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