In keeping with our goal of trying 'new cuisines,' tonight I made a West Indian curry. It has so few spices and flavorings, yet managed to be incredibly flavorful. The recipe has you poke a habanero with a fork and then toss it in to steep with the rest of the vegetables, then discard it before eating. That was fantastic because it allowed everything to be spicy without getting an accidental spoonful of habanero. This was very good. We used acorn squash instead of calabaza but otherwise followed the recipe. We would make this again.
West Indian Vegetable Curry
From Cooking Light, October 2007
Hindu immigrant workers brought wet and dry curry mixtures to Trinidad and Tobago. Here a habanero pepper is added for a brief time while the mixture simmers to impart subtle heat without overpowering the dish. Calabaza, also called West Indian pumpkin, has a brilliant orange, firm, sweet flesh, much like acorn or butternut squash. This vegetable dish is often served over rice or with coo-coo, the Caribbean rendition of soft polenta.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson Certified Organic), divided
1 1/3 cups (1/4-inch-thick) slices carrot
1 habanero pepper
3 cups cubed peeled calabaza or hubbard squash (about 1 pound)
1 1/2 cups chopped plum tomato
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced (about 3 cups)
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add yellow onion and next 6 ingredients (through garlic) to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add 1 cup broth, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add remaining 1 cup broth and carrot; sauté 5 minutes.
Pierce habanero with a fork; add to pan. Stir in squash, tomato, and zucchini; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Discard habanero; simmer 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Yield: 7 servings