Ok family, here’s the post you’ve all been waiting for. Last night was the night we almost burned the house down.
All of the pieces were there. It was late, we were tired, and dinner was just about ready. I gave Jack the “five minute warning” to get the camera and computer set up, and he decided right then to do a bunch of software updates on the computer because he must always do this at the most inopportune moments possible.
What’s this have to do with a fire? Between being annoyed 20 minutes later at the “5 minute” update, and being whiny and malnourished at 11pm, I had completely forgotten about the naan I had put under the broiler for “just a minute” to brown. I smelled burning, opened the oven door, and my naan was on fire. No big deal, I do this all the time so a few flames are nothing new. So I shut off the heat, close the oven, and expected the flame to go out. Instead, I opened the oven to find the flames getting bigger and I didn’t know what to do. Jack offered the genius idea of “open the oven door so the fire will go out.” I helpfully offered that adding oxygen to a fire will only make it worse.
The kitchen was now filling with smoke and panic was starting to set in. I felt like it might be time to get serious (or at least prepared), and I yelled, “Where’s the fire extinguisher?!” To which Jack replied “We don’t have one, remember?” And I do remember. We had a discussion last year when we moved in about how my dad has one in every room in his house. Suddenly, I had mental images of the placement of every single fire extinguisher in “crazy dad’s” house and my in-denial mind thought “I’ll just go grab one of those off the wall and this will all be ok.”
Luckily, one of us stayed calm and in a rational state of mind. We cleared a pathway to the back door. Jack took the hot sheetpan out of the oven, made it outside without catching anything else on fire and dropped the charred naan on the ground in the dog run. I’m sure Pandora appreciated the snack later.
- 1 individual package yogurt of your choice (Icelandic, Greek, soy, coconut)
- Seeds from 6 cardamom pods, minced
- ½ teaspoon brown mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Pinch sugar
- Tiny squeeze lemon
- Sea salt, to taste
- ½ package tofu, cubed (about 1 cup)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 serrano chile, minced
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
- 1.5 cups chopped mushrooms
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 2 cups cauliflower florets
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- Pinch sugar
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Sea salt
- Chopped cilantro, for garnish
- Make the cardamom yogurt: Mix the yogurt, minced cardamom seeds, brown mustard seeds, olive oil, sugar, lemon juice, and salt and adjust the seasonings to taste. Set in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the meal. If the yogurt is too thick before serving, thin with water until it has a creamy consistency.
- Prepare the vegetable curry: Bake the cubed tofu in a 400-degree oven for 15-20 minutes until slightly golden brown and a little more firm.
- Meanwhile, prepare and chop all ingredients so you have them ready to go before you start cooking.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium/high heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and chopped chile. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to turn translucent, 5-7 minutes. Add the curry powder, cumin, fenugreek, and mustard seeds and stir for another couple of minutes until fragrant.
- Add the mushrooms and a few pinches of salt and cook another minute or so. Add the carrot, broccoli, and cauliflower and cook for another couple of minutes until the mushrooms have started to cook down.
- Add the tomatoes, a pinch of sugar, and coconut milk and stir to combine. Turn heat down and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 more minutes. Add the peas and baked tofu cubes and let simmer over barely any heat until the peas are warmed through.
- This is forgiving – ours sat longer due to our fire situation and it tasted better the longer it sat, giving the flavors a longer time to marry together.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as you wish. If you would like it creamier add more coconut milk. Garnish with the chopped cilantro.
- Serve with the cardamom yogurt, naan, and rice if you wish.