We leave for vacation in a couple of days, which invariably means it’s “clean out the fridge” time. For the last week, I have avoided trips to the grocery store and have diligently been working through my inventory of fresh produce and dairy but there are a few random items left. A handful of green beans, half a head of cauliflower, a couple of potatoes, some yogurt, etc. If there is anything that I can’t stand, it is throwing out perfectly good food. Growing up, my mother drilled into me the injustice of wasting food when there were starving children around the world. Those lessons have stuck and I look at it as a challenge to find new ways to use up ingredients rather than give up on them altogether. My husband always looks forward to clean out the fridge nights because he likes the departure from my usual cooking routines. It’s easy to become stuck, so this is when I really tend to push myself.
In order to use up a good chunk of the ingredients I have on hand, I have decided to make a vegetable korma. This may not seem like I am stretching myself since I cook Indian food a lot, but I don’t often cook restaurant dishes at home and to me, korma is a restaurant dish. Korma is a mild and luxurious Indian stew made by braising meats or vegetables with spices, water and something creamy such as yogurt, cream, coconut milk or nut pastes. My children are allergic to nuts so I have swapped in tahini for the nut paste and used a bit of cream to create the rich gravy. Kormas can be very heavy but I have kept my version lighter by only adding in a couple of tablespoons of cream and tahini. If you want a creamier sauce, by all means add more. You can also easily make this a vegan dish by substituting coconut milk for the cream. Serve your korma with some plain basmati rice and naan. Let me know how it turns out!
Mixed Vegetable Korma