Mommy Cafe

Vegetarian home cooking, kid tested and approved



Continuing on my experiments with Indian cuisine, last night’s dinner was a delicious vegetable korma.  The name “korma” refers to the style in which the vegetables (or meat) are cooked.  Vegetables are braised in a small amount of liquid and, toward the end of the cooking time, cream.

This was the first time I’ve ever had korma, or at least knowingly.  So while I don’t have a basis for comparison to know if it tasted “right,” I do know that it tasted delKormaicious– which is right enough for me!

I followed a recipe that I found on  After doing a little internet research on the dish, I realized what changes needed to be made to make the recipe perfect.  This means that the following method has not been tested, I’m 99.9% positive that it can only make it better!  One change I made and implemented last night was using coconut milk instead of heavy cream.  This not only makes the dish vegan, but it also gives it a sweet creamy flavor without adding cream calories.

This recipe made 4 very generous servings… yay for leftovers!  Future adventures for korma include adding pan-fried paneer (a deliciously mild cheese), chickpeas, and spinach.  Those additions will qualify it as a navratan korma.  Navratan means nine gems, and signifies the nine vegetables (which, oddly, could include cashews, chickpeas, or paneer) used in the dish.  Really, it just makes it sound fancy!

Prep time: 10 minutes   Cook time: 30 minutes    Approximate cost: $6


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Yukon potatoes, cubed
  • 4 carrots, cubed
  • 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons ground unsalted cashews
  • 1 (4 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 T garam masala (optional)
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup coconut milk or heavy cream

In a large pan, saute onions over medium heat until tender.  Add ginger, garlic, and curry powder and saute for one minute, stirring frequently.  Mix in potatoes, carrots, jalapeno, cashews, tomato sauce and salt.  Cover the pan and cook for 15 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender.

Stir in garam masala, green and red pepper, peas, and coconut milk.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for another 10 minutes.  Serve over rice or with warm naan.

Serves 4


February 23, 2011 Posted by | Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian | , , | Leave a comment

Chickpea Jalfrezi

I love curry.  Any kind really, just give me something curried!  So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered Indian food and its array of curry dishes.  I also discovered that the local grocery chain carries a variety of Indian sauces.  These jarred sauces are a little pricey for my budget, but my stomach insists on more, more, more!  So I did a little window shopping and wrote down the name of every sauce in the ethnic foods aisle, then rushed home to do a little research.  What do you know?  The sauces are so easy to make at home– and cost a fraction of the canned variety.  Sometimes the ingredient lists seem daunting, but you don’t get a complex flavor without just a few spices.  Don’t worry though; chances are you already have the majority of the spices you’ll need.  And if you don’t already have them, you should!

Here is the first of (hopefully) many Indian recipes to come.  The original recipe came from and was made with chicken.  Apparently jalfrezi was a way of using up leftover meat once upon a time.  I substituted chickpeas for the chicken and couldn’t have been happier with the outcome.  The leftover jalfrezi is even better as the spices get a chance to blend together overnight.

Make this meal even less costly by using your dried cooked chickpeas.  I used 2 cups of chickpeas thawed from the freezer.  The original recipe also called for ghee (clarified butter), but I didn’t have any and was too lazy to make it.  So I just stirred in a pat of butter toward the end to give it a hint of buttery flavor.  Leave out the ghee or butter for a vegan dish.

Approx prep and cook time: 30 minutes    Estimated cost: $3 to 4

Chickpea Jalfrezi

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 T ghee
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 3 tsp coriander
  • 2 T freshly grated ginger root

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat and add onions and garlic, cooking for about 2 minutes.  Add turmeric, chili powder, and salt, and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in chickpeas and undrained tomatoes.  Cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.  Uncover and let simmer another 10 minutes.  Add ghee, cumin, coriander,  and ginger, and simmer an additional 5 to 7 minutes.

Serve over rice or with naan or poori bread

Serves 4

February 5, 2011 Posted by | Learning to Love Chickpeas, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian | , , | 1 Comment