Food: Feasts Under $5 – Vegetable Korma
A few weeks ago, after a great meal at Mela, I decided to cook Indian food. I fully expected my attempt to be a bust – I’m not very familiar with the components of Indian food or the techniques in Indian cooking. But it turns out that Vegetable Korma is pretty easy to make – just a lot of chopping and simmering. The most important element is the spice blend – the measurements I use below lead to a mildly spiced dish, so I suggest starting there. If you want more intense flavor, add more of each spice – in equal parts – after the cream has simmered.
Vegetable Korma – serves 4
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
1 pint heavy cream
1 small can (6-8 0z) tomato sauce
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 red pepper, sliced
1/2 green pepper, sliced
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
3 gloves garlic, pressed or grated
2 small waxy potatoes, cubed and blanched for 5 minutes
1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
1 large carrot, cubed
1 medium onion, diced
Saute onion over medium heat in a few tbsp of olive oil or vegetable oil. Add ginger and garlic, stir and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, potatoes, carrots, and jalapeno, stir to combine. Add cumin, turmeric, curry powder, and salt, stir and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add cream, peppers, peas, and chick peas, simmer for 10 minutes. Taste, adjust spices (adding more of each in equal parts) if necessary. Serve plain or over rice.
Tomato Sauce: $.99
Chick Peas: $.1.39
Basmati Rice: $3.00
Total: $18.75 per meal, $4.68 per serving.
Turmeric adds a nice flavor element to the dish, which is why I included this spice (and its cost) in the recipe. You could substitute Garam Masala instead of Curry Powder, but Curry Powder was already in our pantry. While this dish isn’t protein heavy, the chick peas and peas contribute a fair amount. And yes, there is a lot of cream in this meal, but I like to think it is balanced by the vegetables. If you want to lighten it up, you can substitute a mixture of light coconut milk and vegetable broth, just be aware that the consistency will be runnier and the flavor will be significantly different.
Remember, the cost of this meal assumes you already have pantry staples.