Now that the weather is slowly cooling down I am starting to crave more warming, comforting dishes that will fill my belly up with goodness. For some reason I always crave more carby, naughty things when it gets cold and that is half the reason why I think I look at the scales at the end of winter and see a few extra "friends" joined me over the chilly period. Do you have the same problem?
I swear not this year. I just lost all my IVF and baby weight and I don't want it to come and join me again anytime soon that's for sure. So I have tried to incorporate warming and comforting recipes into my repertoire that will be kind to my hips this winter period. Enter this curry.....
If you are watching your waistline, going for vegetarian options help lower the calorie intake of a dish. I try to cook at least one meal a week that contains no meat which also helps our grocery bill costs. I pack my vegetarian dishes with loads of vegetables to make up for the lack of meat. I have been trying to use the produce that we have been growing in our garden and plan our menu meals for the month around what we have growing at the time. These beautiful eggplants I am proud to say are freshly grown from our vegetable patch. I just love the colour of them, don't you? Oh and don't get me started on the beautiful vibrant chillis that we have growing at the moment! Don't worry this curry is not going to blow your head off... unless you want it too. Its up to you if you want to add the fresh chilli's or not. I opted to leave them out in this dish as we were feeding it to our little boy and I didn't want to burn his little taste buds. Can I just say he LOVED this curry all mushed up for dinner and lunch the next day. Winner!
Now a curry probably isn't one of the things would think would be kind to those old hips of yours. The real version of a good curry isn't. It's full of coconut milk, oil and don't forget the sides of rice and naan bread to go with it. All good in moderation but if your watching your waistline then you probably avoid them like the plague (well you should anyway). This curry I have reduced the coconut milk and added more stock and tomatoes to still give it a lovely base. I love a good curry and we probably eat one a month in our house. However I always reduce the coconut milk, reduce the oil and forgo the naan bread to make things a little bit healthier. Poppadoms are a great alternative to use as a "dipper" in your curry as they are made from chickpea flour and are cooked in the microwave. They are not as "bready" as the naan and roti counterparts making them a slightly healthier alternative if you need something to dip into your curry. You can pick them up in your local supermarket under the asian section.
I find flavoursome and spiced up dishes make me feel more satisfied than a bland soup on a cold and blustery day. This curry is full of flavour and a lovely combination of spices to get your belly growling. It may seem a lot of ingredients but most of them are spices. If you don't have the list of spices I have mentioned you can always substitute them with your two to three teaspoons of your favourite curry powder for a more simplified version. Eggplant is the main star of this dish alongside the pumpkin and caulifower. All in season during winter which is always good when trying to eat and buy seasonal produce. I have added red lentils into this curry to give it a bit of substance and bulk which means you don't have to serve it with rice. It's a one pot meal ready to go in under an hour and it will fill your house with a wonderful fragrance as it cooks.
This can be cooked in your pressure cooker, slow cooker or on the stovetop, whatever floats your boat at the time. It is pretty easy to cook and can be done in under a hour. You could substitute the pumpkin for potato or sweet potato and the cauliflower with zucchini or any other vegetable really. You could toss in some beans, snow peas and even some spinach. Play around with it and have some fun.