As I recently mentioned in my 11 Randoms Game post, I was born in Manhattan, but moved to a small town in Massachusetts when I was four. Granted, we lived only an hour outside of Boston, but for day-to-day purposes, restaurant options were very limited in my town. There was the local pizza shop, a Dunkin’ Donuts (this doesn’t even qualify), and an Americanized Chinese restaurant – the one my mom shed tears over during our first week outside of NYC.
Not surprisingly, I wasn’t exposed to a diverse range of foods. My family’s tofu-eating ways were as exotic as it got, and we would rarely go out to eat due to our limited options.
I ended up living on a street with a handful of other kids my age, and I quickly became friends with another girl, Jesal. Her family was from India and I was fascinated by everything from their beautiful clothes, to the swing in their living room (so fun!), to their large pantry, filled with row after row of colorful spices.
Jesal’s mom is an amazing cook, and she was always so eager to make us after-school snacks. I remember the first time she made us Indian grilled corn with a little cayenne pepper and lime juice. It was so simple, but it completely awakened my taste buds (and slightly burned my tongue).
Since then, I have always had an appreciation for Indian food. The layer upon layer of spices, vibrant colors, and satisfying textures – it’s one of my most favorite cuisines. By no means do I know how to prepare authentic Indian food, but I do like to use similar flavors when I cook. So, this week, while I was perusing The Candle Cafe Cookbook and hoping to find inspiration for quick lunches, I came across a recipe for Curried Potato Spinach Soup.
The recipe called for curry powder, fennel seeds, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne, among other spices. And although I made quite a few changes to the original recipe, the flavor profile is very similar, and the taste is everything I had hoped it would be. This is definitely a meal I will be working into my regular rotation.
|Curried Potato, Cauliflower & Kale Stew||
This makes a whole lot of stew. I love having lunch ready to go for Aaron and I during the week, but you could easily cut this in half and get about 5 meals out of it.
I’ve been throwing in a handful of chickpeas before re-heating the stew. In terms of flavor and texture, the chickpeas are a great addition, and they also add a nice dose of protein. If you like, feel free to add 2 or 3 cups of cooked chickpeas a few minutes after adding the potatoes and cauliflower.