It was a chilly one here in NYC this weekend, so I spent more time than usual tucked inside watching Netflix and taking naps on the couch under a bit knitted blanket. We all deserve a little time to relax and veg out when snow is falling outside right? I took a break from watching my usual Grey’s Anatomy reruns and decided to watch the Netflix documentary about Bikram yoga, and it was..shocking and interesting to say the least.
But that’s not the point! The point is that with the cold weather and scenes of India, I was inspired to cook with some Indian flavors for my lunches this week. One of the traditional cooking methods and spice blends used in Indian cooking is “tandoori”. A tandoor is a clay oven used to braise and simmer meats and vegetables, and while I don’t have access to one of those, I do have a killer dutch oven and some tandoori seasoning that my mom gave me over Christmas.
The Tandoori seasoning my mom gifted me is a blend of coriander, cumin, sweet paprika, garlic, ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon, but you can easily make your own and store it in a jar for whenever you’re in a spicy mood!
Aside from the tandoori seasoning, you’ll be making this vegan curry with:
Cauliflower- a cruciferous vegetable packed with vitamin C, B vitamins, and choline, all of which are great for fighting inflammation and protecting cell health.
Delicata squash- my starchy vegetable of choice for this one-pot meal. Butternut or acorn squash could also work well, or omit this starch and add potatoes or serve with brown rice instead.
Green lentils- I know, again with the lentils, but they are a simple, nourishing plant-based protein that I just can’t get enough of! Green lentils hold their shape better than red lentils when it comes to soups and stews.
With a little more spice from yellow curry, and some diced tomatoes and coconut milk for flavor, this curry is the perfect answer to a cold winter day. I’m eating it for my work lunches this week and I plan for it to feed me for three days, but you could stretch the recipe and serve it for four smaller meals too.
2 tbsp avocado oil
3/4 cup mirepoix (carrot, celery, onion blend from Trader Joe’s)
1 small cauliflower (about 2 cups of florets)
2 small delicata squash, seeds removed, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) can lite coconut milk
1 tsp tandoori spice
1 tsp yellow curry powder
1/2 cup green lentils
Garnish- cilantro or green onions
Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the mirepoix and saute for 2 minutes.
Add the cauliflower florets and squash to the pot and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, coconut milk, tandoori spice, curry powder, and green lentils. Bring everything to a low simmer and cover. Cook for about 15-20 minutes until green lentils are cooked through. Taste and add more spice and a pinch of salt as desired.
Serve with roughly chopped cilantro or green onions. Let cool and then store in well-sealed containers in the fridge for up to four days.