Sri Lanka: Vegetable Curry

Guess what? I am officially halfway through my 50 Countries Challenge! I'm putting on a party hat, blowing noisemakers, and waving pompoms as I write this post.

What better way to commemorate my 25th country than with curry? If it hasn't become evident by now, I love curries. If an opportunity to make or eat curry presents itself, I'll get it done. Apparently, the Sri Lankan people feel the same way I do, as "Curry and Rice" is their national dish. I'm sure that there is no particular "Sri Lankan Curry" recipe, but rather that every Sri Lankan household has their own variation on the same theme.

Upon reading this recipe, I realized there was no curry powder involved whatsoever. I researched some other options and found that the recipes typically use curry leaves, so I added them in. I was surprised to find a cinnamon stick included in the ingredients, but I shouldn't have been--cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka, and is one of their most famous exports.

As you'll see, there are no particular vegetables specified. I added a sweet potato (which was the best idea I've had in a long time--it added real depth of flavor), carrots, and a "Mo Qua," or "fuzzy squash," which is very much like a zucchini. I wanted to add green beans, but Meijer didn't have any. As I understand it, green beans are a popular addition to Sri Lankan curries.

Sri Lankan Vegetable Curry
(from Fire & Spice, by Heather Jansz Balasuriya)
-3 Medium Green Chiles -- finely chopped (**I used Jalapenos)
-8+ Curry Leaves (**Technically optional...I added these to the recipe)
-1 Medium Onion -- finely chopped
-1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric
-1 Stick Cinnamon
-3 Cloves Garlic -- finely chopped
-1 Teaspoon Ginger -- finely chopped
-1 Teaspoon Lemongrass (**I minced mine)
Salt -- to taste
-3 Cups Coconut Milk
-2 Cups Water
-4 Cups Vegetables -- sliced (**I used diced sweet potato, Mo Qua, and carrots)
Optional: I found the flavor of the finished product a bit lacking. I added a healthy dash of curry powder and extra salt to my bowl and was totally satisfied.

1. In soup pot, combine chiles, onion, turmeric, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, 1 cup coconkut milk, water, and salt. Simmer 10 minutes.

2. Add vegetables and cook until tender (**For me, this was about 30 minutes)

3. Add remaining coconut milk. Simmer 5 mintues. Serve over rice.


Lo said...

Sweet potatoes and winter squash are my two favorite veg for curries. The subtle sweetness is so nice when played against all the spices! Love the look of this dish -- delicious and oh-so-healthy!

Heather said...

Squash curry (with tofu) is my *favorite* ever. Do you know that we have not been able to find it any Lao/Thai restaurant down here? It's so sad.

Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron said...

How fun! Congrats on the halfway to the challenge Heather! I love curry and as looking through the ingredients the 2 things that I'm not familiar with for Thai curry are curry leaves and cinnamon!

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