August 7, 2014
By Sean Perman & Jamie Rautenberg
Editor’s Note: This delicious and satisfying vegan dish contains creamy coconut milk plus lots of turmeric – a spice renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties. Additional simple recipes created specifically for those with chronic neuroimmune illness are on the authors’ website, The Daily Infusion.
Here is a healthy, healing, and comforting recipe. It is completely foolproof, so any beginner chefs can add this to their arsenal and be sure to impress.
After Sean prepared a batch at his restaurant, the head chef gobbled up his first bowl and ran back to the kitchen for a second helping.
We used only organic ingredients and suggest those for others as well.
Here are Sean’s preparation notes for the dish.
In the Kitchen
Ingredients for the curry include a head of cauliflower; a red onion; some carrots; coconut milk; coconut oil; fresh ginger root; spices (such as turmeric, cayenne, bay leaves and black pepper); sea salt; and water or vegetable stock.
1. Start with a big soup pot on medium heat. Coat the bottom nicely with the coconut oil. While the oil warms up, slice up the onion and toss it in. Be careful the oil doesn’t get too hot yet. You want browned onions, not blackened onions.
2. Now peel the ginger and slice it thin. This is where your personal preference comes in. I love ginger. I’ll slice up at least an inch. If you’re not wild about it, use less, or if you just don’t like biting into a big slice, mince it small. It’ll melt right into the curry.
3. Toss the ginger in with the onions, stir it up, and inhale deeply. If you weren’t hungry before you started cooking, you will be now.
4. The carrots go in next. Peel and chop. I like thin disks. It’s quick and the carrots will soften quickly. You don’t want to be surprised by biting into a raw carrot.
5. Add the carrots to the pot.
6. Next, cut up the cauliflower. Mostly tops. Not too much stem. You want these little sponges to absorb all the curry flavor.
7. Add the cauliflower to the pot.
8. Next comes the first round of seasoning. I like to sear the spices into the veggies before I add the liquid. Salt generously. Don’t go crazy, but remember, what looks like a pile of veggies will become a big pot of curry. We are going to season again later so don’t over think it.
Shake, shake, shake the turmeric. You really want to coat everything. This is the main spice in this dish. When you think you’ve added too much, add a little more.
Then add cayenne and black pepper to taste. (Other spices to try if you want to mix it up: clove, cardamom, coriander, white pepper, cumin, cinnamon, star anise. You can really go crazy with it.)
9. Stir it up and look how pretty!
10. Now for the wet stuff. Add the coconut milk and water or stock. It’s beginning to look like curry. Toss in a few bay leaves and give it a second round of seasoning. This is the fun part. Taste it and see what it needs. Probably more salt and turmeric and if you like it spicy, go to town on the cayenne.
11. Let the curry come up to a simmer. Watch and smell all of those flavors coming together. Keep tasting every once in a while to see if you need to adjust the seasoning.
12. Check it out! It’s reduced about an inch in the pot, which means it should be rich and thick and exploding with flavor. Remove the bay leaves so there are no unexpected bites of foliage.
13. I like to serve my curry over quinoa. It’s healthier than rice, soaks up the sauce, and really makes the meal stretch.
If you’re looking for healthful, vegan comfort food, it doesn’t get much better than this!
* 1 head of cauliflower
* 1 medium-sized red onion
* 3 medium-sized carrots
* 1 knob of ginger
* 2 cups of coconut milk
* 2 cups of water or vegetable stock
* Coconut oil
* Cayenne pepper
* Bay leaves
* Black pepper
* Sea salt (preferably pink Himalayan)
About the Authors
Sean Perman has been in the restaurant business for over 15 years, managing some of New York City’s best eateries. He is a Lyme disease thriver who has taken his love for great food and his need for elevated health, and turned them into a life full of clean, healthful, and satisfying recipes.
Jamie Rautenberg is a longtime sufferer of chronic neuroimmune illness (including late-stage neurological Lyme disease) who is currently treating her illness with a variety of natural approaches. She is a holistic life coach & Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with a Masters of Social Work from Fordham University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has worked as a counselor at Realization Center (one of NYC’s largest outpatient addiction treatment centers) and at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine Division of Substance Abuse. She’s also been a staff therapist at Blanton-Peale Institute & Counseling Center in New York City.
They recently relocated from NYC to the Los Angeles area.
The food photos that Jamie posts on her Facebook page always look so yummy and healthful that I was really happy that she and her boyfriend Sean were willing to contribute a recipe to this blog.
I’ve made this coconut curry three times so far and it’s going to stay in my repertoire permanently. It takes almost no effort to prepare, and it’s really savory and satisfying.
I generally eat most or all of the dish as a meal all by itself. (For those avoiding grains, the quinoa is totally optional.)
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