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Sunday recipe: Vegan dish fits with Lenten season

Lent is a solemn season of introspection and prayer as Christians prepare for the Easter celebration and feast. One of the hallmarks of the this time of year is abstaining from meat each Friday and during certain days of obligation.

People who routinely consume meat and poultry may be wondering which meals they can enjoy to keep flavors fresh on nonmeat days. Many Indian dishes are meat-free, vegan options that can be perfectly inserted into Lenten Fridays. Such is the case with this recipes for “Curry of Vegetables With Potatoes” from Menus and Memories From Punjab (Hippocrene Books) by Veronica “Rani” Sidhu.

Curry of Vegetables With Potatoes (Aloo Mutter)

Yield: 10 1-cup servings

¼ cup vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 inches of ginger, minced
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1½ teaspoons whole or ground cumin seeds
1 tablespoon ground fenugreek seeds (optional)
1 medium/large tomato, chopped
1 or 2 long green chile peppers, seeded and finely chopped
1½ teaspoons salt, or to taste
frac13; cup tomato paste
2 teaspoons garam masala
4 cups potatoes, peeled and cut into 1¼-inch cubes
3 cups frozen peas, thawed
frac12; cup cilantro leaves and stems, finely chopped, plus some for garnish

  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil and sauté the onions, garlic and ginger over medium heat until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add the spices and brown for 1 more minute. For a smooth gravy, purée this tardka in a blender.
  2. Return the tardka to the pot and add the tomato, chile pepper and salt, stirring constantly for another few minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, 1 teaspoon of the garam masala, potatoes, and three cups of water. Simmer for 30 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the peas plus 2½ cups water. Taste for salt and heat through. Before serving, sprinkle with the last teaspoon of garam masala and the cilantro leaves garnish.