For me, the word curry conjures feelings of warmth and homey goodness. So, I was very excited when I received the request to test A Beautiful Plate’s Vegan Cauliflower, Potato and Chickpea Curry.
- Yukon gold potatoes
- Kosher Salt
- Dried red pepper flakes
- Canned tomatoes
- Vegetable broth
- Garam Masala
- Coconut milk
- Freshly ground pepper
I chopped all the ingredients that needed chopping and measured out and inhaled the aroma of those wonderful spices.And then the questions began.
Step 1 of the directions asked me to season the wall of a large soup pot with salt. WHAT?! I’ve been cooking for years, but, admittedly, I’m not a culinary expert – not by any means – but I’ve never come into contact with this technique before. So, I phoned a friend who was professionally trained in the culinary arts. And I asked if salting the wall of the pot was some type of special technique. She was dumbfounded and had not heard of this technique and suggested that perhaps it was a typo and it should have read salt the water heavily. And that totally made sense to me, so that’s what I did.
The next issue came up while I was still in #1. Essentially the directions were asking me to blanch the potato and cauliflower, I’m assuming this was to cut down on the actual overall cooking time for the recipe. The time it takes to blanch cauliflower is 2-3 minutes and the time to blanch potatoes is 8-12 minutes. This was concerning for me. I knew my potatoes would not be cooked at the end of the of the recipe cooking time. But, I kept to the recipe directions and denied my urge to separate the two vegetables.
I continued to followed the direction with ease until #3. As feared the potatoes were not tender and the cauliflower was beginning to loose form. I cooked the recipe for an additional 10 minutes until the potatoes were tender. But, alas, my cauliflower was falling apart.
And, finally, in #4 where it directed to stir in the garam masala and the coconut milk and cook for an additional 10 minutes. I was concerned that the garam masala was not going to have enough time to mingle with the other spices that were added in step #3. As stated before, I’m not an expert, but I have been cooking Indian curries and Thai curries for many years and I can’t remember an instance where I was asked to add spice at the end of the cooking time.
On to the results. And, once again, I took myself out of the taste test for fear the issues I encountered with the directions would bias my taste buds.
C for cost of ingredients. If you did not have the coriander, cardamon or garam masala in your pantry, this recipe could be fairly pricey. I had all the spices.
C for directions. For all the reasons stated above and because the recipe is attached to the taste test survey, and few of the of the taste testers questioned the salting of the pot wall.
B for taste. One of taste testers “loved the complexity and depth of the spices”, while another commented “it could use more salt and use more heat”, and another commented, “more salt.” It was suggested that this recipe be tasted with naan and/or over rice. Most folks did that but one tasted it on it’s own and loved it that way. And, finally, “Delicious! Just the right amount of spice.”
Some suggestions were:
- To omit the cardamon, add more coconut milk and vegetable broth
- Add more chickpeas
- Add more colorful vegetables
- Cooking in a slow cooker to give the spices more time to meld
Next time the test will be a sweet. Place your vote today:
Please make sure that all of your ingredients are both vegan and gluten free. Just because ingredients are listed and pictured does not insinuate that they are either vegan or gluten free. Please make sure you choose the appropriate ingredients for your audience of tasters. Kroger has a wonderful list on their website (71 pages) of all the gluten free items in their stores.