May 6, 2011

Before I get to today’s post, I just wanted to let you know that I have added a few classes to my calendar.  If you have ever wanted to learn some baking skills, using four different doughs and one batter, check out my class 4 Doughs, 1 Batter.  It is sure to be a fun and delicious class!  Details on the classes page.

Is it Friday yet?  I thought this week would pass very quickly.  Saturday marks the two year anniversary of doing yoga retreats with my friend Jen.  Because I can no longer be trusted to keep track of my calendar in my brain, I planned a trip away with Randy and some friends over the very same weekend.  So, for the fist time in 12 retreats, I will not be on Bainbridge getting my yoga on.  Before you cry for me, I will be in Napa getting my sun, wine, spa, and food on – so I will not be suffering greatly.  But I treasure those retreats and the amazing people who attend them.  I will be sad to miss the group.

I could not leave Jen in a lurch food-wise so I offered to make the food anyway.  Usually, I have the better part of a week to get ready for a lunch for 25 people – this time it was compressed.  Menu planning, shopping, cooking and food delivery all had to happen within a span of a few days.  In other words, I had a whole lot to get done before that plane left with me and a large glass of wine on it.

So, with much to do and not a lot of time to do it in, I figured the days would fly.  And then on Sunday, Spencer, my four-year old, decided to try and go down a slide with a plate of food in hand.  He fell and fractured his wrist.  A buckle fracture, which is not that severe, but still pain, an x-ray, and a splint.  Oh, and a very mad little boy who did not want to be injured and did not want to show his friends at preschool his fancy splint.

On Tuesday, I got the call that Graham, my six-year old, got pushed at school and went head first into the white board.  The words “gash” and “scar” were used and it was all I could do to hold it together.  Back to the pediatrician we went where we learned that it had been cleaned well, did not need stitches, and would most likely not scar.  But our doctor did reinforce my belief that if he had lifted his head even 1 millimeter as he hit, he would have lost his eye.

By that night, the persistant stuffiness in my nose that I was trying to believe was allergies turned into a full-blown cold.  Much nose blowing, coughing, and mouth-breathing ensued.

So my week did not fly.  It dragggggged.  I had too much to do; cooking for Saturday, trying to prep for classes I am teaching next week, planning for future classes, attempting to stay on top of my day to day, and my family – including me – was falling apart around me.  Food was starting to feel like work.  This happens to me sometimes.  My art, the thing I love most to do, becomes no fun.  And it’s not like I can walk away – we all need to eat.  Three times a day preferably.

It is times like these that I reach for nourishing dishes.  Nurturing and nourishing.  Of course, I always want to nourish, it’s just sometimes I need it.  The inspiration for this recipe comes from a book called Plenty and no, it’s not the Ottolenghi one.  Believe it or not, I have two cookbooks called Plenty, both written by English authors.  This Plenty, like the other, is a treasure of seasonal, healthy, interesting recipes.  Unlike Ottolenghi’s, this Plenty features plenty of meat.  But it is the rare cookbook that I am happy to put on my shelf, even though I can only make a small percentage of the recipes.

I tweaked this recipe significantly.  I probably could have just made it up myself and it would have been just as lovely.  But with my stuffed up head and my slightly dented heart, it was nice to have a little guidance.

One Year Ago:  Gianduja Gelato and Spaghettini with Mushrooms, Asparagus, and Tarragon
Two Years Ago:  Niçoise Salad and Mexican Brownies

Kaye Korma Curry
Adapted from Plenty
Serves 4

I used asparagus for something green in this dish because I had some in my refrigerator.  Not quite right – too vegetal.  Try using a small handful of trimmed green beans or 1 small chopped zucchini instead.

Canola oil
2 tsp. black mustard seeds
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 inch piece fresh garlic, peeled and minced
½ tsp. tumeric
1 tsp. ground coriander
8 ounces fresh tomatoes, chopped
2 large carrots, peeled, halved, and sliced on a diagonal
1 pound red potatoes, cut into chunks
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can “lite” coconut milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup frozen peas
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro

Place a Dutch oven, or similar pot, over medium heat.  Pour in just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan and then add the mustard seeds.  Once they start to pop, immediately add the onion along with a large pinch of salt and stir well to coat.  Cook until nice and brown, then add the garlic and ginger.  Sprinkle in the ground spices and cook, stirring frequently, until nice and fragrant, about 3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, and chickpeas.  Stir and cook for 4 minutes to soften the tomatoes, adding a little bit of water if things are sticking.  Pour in the coconut milk and season with salt and pepper.  Bring the curry to a light boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot.  Cook until the vegetables are just tender, adding more water if the mixture seems too dry, about 20 minutes.  (At this point the curry can sit for several hours.)

Add the peas and cilantro just a few minutes before serving.


  1. I love a hearty stew like this one in any kind of weather. The coconut milk makes suitable for summer too.

    Comment by Nisrine M — May 6, 2011 @ 11:03 am

  2. i LOVE korma curry! but sadly i am the only one in the house. so i don’t get to make it that much. but man i love this stuff. i have it for breakfast with eggs. Mmmm

    Comment by vanillasugarblog — May 6, 2011 @ 2:25 pm

  3. I am so sorry to hear the boys got hurt this week, but glad that they are on the mend. The recipe looks wonderful, I think I will try it this weekend. Have a great trip!

    Comment by Kirsten — May 6, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

  4. this recipe is totally speaking to me right now. I think its the look of those nourishing/ filling potatoes. Does that mean something, a potato craving?? Anyhoo- sorry to hear about two banged up little ones! Hope the splint @ school wasn’t too embarrassing. Also, have a wonderful time in napa! I love it there, and can’t wait to make it back soon.

    Comment by elizabeth / sophisticated pie — May 6, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

  5. We all have these weeks – ugh, unfortunately. This looks like the way to heal!

    Comment by Jess from Hogwash — May 6, 2011 @ 4:32 pm

  6. Chica, you have one one SERIOUS week. Two injured children, a serious cold, and five tons of cooking to do?!?!? Yikes. Nourishment is EXACTLY what you need. I hope all of the goodness in this curry fixed you all up!

    Comment by Joanne — May 6, 2011 @ 4:57 pm

  7. i am so sorry to hear about your boys. and you even found time to respond to my email about seattle restaurants… i am even more grateful than i was before! thank you! it sounds like a napa getaway is just what the doctor ordered. have an amazing time. i will be in seattle for a week in july and hope i can luck out and take one of your classes. :) happy mother’s day!

    Comment by ange lu — May 6, 2011 @ 8:39 pm

  8. Sending you the warmest wishes for a relaxing visit to Napa with your husband. You deserve some low-key time with nothing more taxing than the weight of a glass of wine in your hand. Have a lovely weekend, and a happy mother’s day, friend. Sorry for the rough week :(

    Comment by cheryl — May 7, 2011 @ 12:57 am

  9. I hope you are having a lovely weekend with very large glasses of wine. Hopefully all the bumps and bangs heal quickly (including your dented heart). If your kids are anything like mine, they bounce back faster than you are ready for….almost. I also hope you are getting some sunshine as you are missing the PNW rain!

    Comment by Charlotte — May 8, 2011 @ 2:08 am

  10. I definitely hope this week – and all others this year – will be much much better for you…

    you need a break (got a typo at first, said you need a bread – well, maybe that too! ;-)

    Comment by SallyBR — May 9, 2011 @ 5:49 pm

  11. This looks amazing! I’m not a big curry fan, I’ve had a few bad dishes, but I really want to try this one. :)

    Comment by Michelle — May 9, 2011 @ 10:53 pm

  12. I just wanted to report back that I made this on Sunday (along with some dal) and it was wonderful, just the curry I have been looking for. Thank you so much. I did use green beans as you suggested and put them in about 10 minutes before I served it, the peas about 5 minutes later, worked like a charm.

    Comment by Kirsten — May 11, 2011 @ 12:07 am

  13. I made this for dinner last night, and it was awesome! I omitted the peas because, in all honesty, I cannot stand peas. I added zucchini instead. My 5 year old even liked it thanks to the slight sweetness of the coconut milk. I passed some along to my mom, and she enjoyed it too. Thanks for another great recipe, Dana!

    Comment by Kathy — May 14, 2011 @ 1:06 am

  14. Thank you. This was, is phenomenal. I have a new, tiny baby, and food is just totally unappealing and yet, healing. The sweet, spiced nature of this really warmed and comforted me. And it’s easy to make with a babe strapped to your chest.
    As always, thanks for the amazing food.

    Comment by Sarah — June 27, 2011 @ 10:46 pm

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