The very first curry dish I ever learned to make was back in 2001 (before I became a vegan). It was a simple curried shrimp and rice recipe in a Chatelaine magazine that looked like it took all day (but was on the table in 30 minutes) - and was guaranteed to be a dinner party delight.
They didn't lie; it was a requested dish whenever my family came to visit. The wow factor of this dish was this thick, rich, slightly tangy golden curry sauce made with 35% cream (whipping cream basically) that just enveloped the other ingredients in a succulent, thick blanket of goodness. (Insert porn music here...)
Obviously that original dish is no longer requested, but I've never forgotten that sauce - or its incredible richness of being. So I've done what I do best: I've recreated it VEGAN style! Regular coconut milk (the good stuff - not that "light" version) is an amazing replacement for whipping cream; and who needs shrimp when you can have amazing nutrient-packed veggies like carrot, cauliflower, spinach and potatoes? (Okay, so the potatoes are basically the starch replacement, but still...)
Oh and in case you're wondering, this dish is still worthy of a dinner party - and it still only takes 30 minutes to make!
2 tbsp olive oil (or vegetable stock if you prefer an oil-free dish)
2 large yellow potatoes, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup diced tomatoes, drained
3 cups frozen cauliflower florets
2 cups baby spinach
1 x 14oz can of regular coconut milk
1 cup vegetable stock
4 tbsp mild curry paste (I use Patak's mild curry paste)
1 tsp corn starch mixed with 2 tbsp cold water
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and par-boil carrots for 3 min. Add potatoes and cook another 3 min. Add cauliflower and boil for another 2 min. Drain and set aside.
2. In a deep frying pan, heat oil or stock on medium-high heat and saute onions until soft and translucent, about 5 min. Add garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes.
3. Add tomatoes and curry paste. Stir to combine and release curry flavour. Add in potatoes, carrots and cauliflower and gently mix to combine, coating all vegetables in curry paste. Cook for 3 min.
4. Add coconut milk and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10-15 min until sauce thickens and vegetables are fork-tender. Add spinach, cover pan and allow spinach to wilt.
5. Remove lid and add corn starch slurry. Stir to activate corn starch and thicken sauce - about 5 min. Remove from heat and allow dish to sit for 5 min before serving.