This warming winter medley is easy to make and will fill your house with exotic Eastern aromas. The spiciness of curry blends varies from hot and pungent to sweet and mild, so taste before adding the cayenne to see how much heat you need. A little goes a long way.
3 cups brown basmati rice
6 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
1 onion, quartered lengthwise and sliced
1 pound winter squash, peeled and seeded, cut lengthwise into quarters or sixths, and sliced crosswise into 3/8-inch slices
3/4 pound broccoli, trimmed and cut into large bite-size florets
1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into strips
1/2 pound mushrooms, brushed and sliced
2 teaspoons grated ginger root
5 cloves garlic, minced
14- or 15-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
About 1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon tamari or mushroom soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon coriander seed, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon cumin seed, toasted and ground
1 pound firm tofu, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup spinach, chard, or kale cut into thin shreds
Cayenne pepper to taste
1 tablespoon lime juice, or to taste
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, optional
1. Bring 6 cups of water to boil and add basmati rice. Cook about half an hour until tender.
2. Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat and add the onion; stir and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the squash and broccoli and cook, covered, for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the bell pepper and mushrooms, and cook for another minute. Add the ginger root and garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
3. Add the coconut milk, water, soy sauce, salt, turmeric, curry, cumin, and coriander, and bring ingredients to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Add the tofu, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the shredded greens a minute or two before the 10 minutes are up. Taste for seasoning and add cayenne and lime juice. Stir over low heat for another minute or two and taste for seasoning.
4. Serve in individual serving bowls over the rice, and garnish with cilantro leaves, if desired.