The Perfect Vegan Caribbean Curry
When Im at school, I often think a lot about the foods that I used to eat back at home. I tend to miss my favorite Caribbean dishes, especially Jamaican curry. However, as a vegan, meat isnt really an option and while Im not perfect, I did do my own version of a meatless curry dish that I know you would enjoy.
The key to getting the curry right, as I have learned, is the brand of curry. I stuck with the Grace brand (a Caribbean food company).
I do findthat this brand tastes better and feels more authentic when it comes to making a delicious homemade curry dish, but I must warn you, this is no easy thing to prepare. The art of currying does take some time to get right and my first trials never really taste the same compared to my second tries. Although both are equally delectable. So, lets dive right into it as we have much groundtocover.
First of all,
there will be a few new ingredients that will be introduced into this list and a good amount of them might not be readily available in the U.S. (if thats where you are). So, take some time to get to know any local Caribbean or Jamaican grocery shops that might be around the area.
For seasonings you will need:
- A quarter of a yellow onion (diced)
- About two to three cloves of garlic(minced)
- A stalk of scallion (green onion) (diced)
- A small piece of ginger (minced)
- A quarter of green pepper (diced)
- A quarter of red pepper (diced)
- Caribbean Seasoning Pepper (one whole pepper)
For powdered seasonings, spices, and sauces you will need:
- Matouks Green Seasoning (a whole tablespoon)
- Grace Curry Powder (half to a whole tablespoon)
- Garam Masala (about half a teaspoon)
- Jamaican Pimento (also known as Allspice in some countries)
- Three to four stalks of fresh thyme
- Maggi Vegetable Bouillon Cube (just one should do)
- A bay leaf
- Half a teaspoon of paprika
- Half a teaspoon of cumin
- All purpose seasoning (to taste)
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- Grace Scotch Bonnet Pepper Sauce (just a few drops will do)
- One ounce of full fat coconut milk
- Half teaspoon of Better than Bouillon no-chicken base
For the Food Ingredients you will need:
- Soya Chunks (if readily available)
- Half can of chickpeas
- One russet potato cubed
- One carrot diced
- Quarter canof black beans
- Half of a small sweet potato (the orange variety) if desired
In addition to all that you will need water and veggie stock if you have that on hand.
First, you want to get a big enough saut pan with a lid. Have it completely dry and then thoroughly heat about two tablespoons of olive oil. Add powdered curry as well as a bit of the paprika and cumin and wait until the curry becomes a light aromatic brown. Do not let the curry burn.
Next, add all the vegetable seasonings (with the exception of ginger and the seasoning pepper) and give a quick stir, adding a bit
of water. Let the vegetable seasonings cook until soft.
At this point, you will add the Better than Bouillon base just before you add the set of ingredients.
Now, add a good portion of water to fill the pot a quarter way and then add your
carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and chickpeas. All these need to be added now and allowed to steam until they are tender to the fork touch. Turn the heat down and cover the pot, giving the vegetables around twenty to thirty minutes cook-time (can be longer).
In a next, smaller pot, pour some water and about a cup and a half full of dried soy chunks. Allow the water to boil and the chunks to soften before removing from the heat and straining the water. Set this aside.
While the curry is cooking down, about ten to fifteen minutes in cook-time, add the the coconut milk, thyme, bay leaves, additional ground seasonings, ginger, seasoning pepper (add this whole or cut in four and add everything including seeds), the bouillon cube, salt and pepper, the black beans, and the garam masala. Allow the curry to continue to cook down.
After the thirty minutes of cooking, test the vegetables for softness, if it still doesnt feel fork-tender, continue to allow the curry to cook. You would also want to taste-test at this point to see if any additional spices or salt is necessary. Add more water (or stock) if necessary as you dont want the liquid to dry out. You should also add the chunks at this point so that it can cook down with the curry as well.
Wait a few more minutes (an additional fifteen minutes is good or until you think that the vegetables are soft) and then do another test. The potato and the chickpeas should easily break apart to the fork, but still be firm enough to hold its shape. At this point, you can add the scotch bonnet pepper sauce and remove the curry from the stove.
Serve on a bed of jasmine white rice or with mashed potatoes as shown in the image.
The art of currying takes some time to perfect, but with the right ingredients, it should be a breeze.