Zucchini and Tomato Curry
There are many culprits for the internet-onset A.D.D. many of us suffer. Some blame twitter, Others gchat. Still others think it’s Cabin Porn’s fault.
I blame tabbed browsing.
For about 10 days, I had this recipe for Purnima Garg’s Eggplant and Tomato Curry up in not one but two tabs: on Food52, where it originally appeared, and on my Everyday Dinners pinboard, which is one of the places I go these days to search for meal inspiration.
For me, tabs hover in an in-between space between my full attention and total oblivion. I very rarely revisit my bookmarks, so saving a page is as good as clicking a window closed permanently. To keep a tab open is to promise myself that I’ll get back to it, soon. But it also lingers on the side of my attention, a distraction from whatever else I’m trying to accomplish. If the tab includes a spectacular recipe and I’m not in my kitchen, the recipe tab stays open til I’m ready to cook, tempting me and making my mouth water while I type.
I had this Food52 Eggplant and Tomato Curry tab open for 10 days!
I finally took the time to make it on a quiet Saturday. Alex and I were in and out of the apartment all day, and after a walk in the park, while he ran out to the hardware store to buy some spackle, and, um, a new toilet seat, I grabbed that tab by its horns, and, subbing zucchini for eggplant, I made us some curry for lunch. It’s a to-die-for recipe, well-spiced and tangy from the condensed tomatoes, perfect atop rice and beneath a big spoonful of plain yogurt. So don’t be like me: keep this tab open for a day or two, at the most. Then make this new vegetarian favorite, then close the tab, then move on with your life.
(If you’re wondering, this is the recipe tab I’ve got open right now.)
From my kitchen, albeit small, to yours,
Cara, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
Zucchini and Tomato Curry
Adapted from Food52
1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 onion, sliced
4 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 serrano chile, seeded and chopped fine
1 teaspoon ground coriander
14 ounces canned diced tomatoes, with juice
1 teaspoon salt
Heat a large frying pan over high heat for 4 minutes, until very hot. Add the oil, then throw in the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and cover immediately. Cook until the seeds stop popping, about 30 seconds.
Add the sliced onions, and stir occasionally over medium-high heat until they are deep brown in spots, about 15-20 minutes.
Push the onions to the side and drizzle a little more oil into the rest of the pan. Add the zucchini and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to let the skin turn golden and the flesh start to soften. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and mix to distribute.
Add the chile, ground coriander, tomatoes, and salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until the zucchini is soft and the tomatoes have thickened and clung to the zucchini, about 5-10 minutes. Add the rest of the salt, and taste to see if it needs more.
Serve with white rice. Top with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.