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Global Palate

Posted Dec 10 2011 2:47pm

Last night, my boyfriend and I went out on the town. After some afternoon thrift-shopping, we decided it was high time we fueled our tummies. We usually feast on Indian cuisine, but we wanted a break from curry, since we’d been eating the following dish for most of the week.

Root Vegetable Curry

Serves 8-12


2-3 Tbs. oil

1 Tbs. brown or black mustard seeds

1 Tbs. cumin seeds

1 Tbs. coriander seeds

1 Tbs. cardamom seeds

3 cardamom pods, crushed

2-3 cinnamon sticks

1 tsp. cracked black pepper

2-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and cut into ½-inch matchsticks

5 cloves of garlic, minced

1 large onion, diced

1 Tbs. turmeric

1 Tbs. fenugreek powder

1 14-oz can coconut milk (optional)

1 tsp. salt

4 carrots, coined

2 parsnips, coined

2 potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 head cauliflower, florets separated into bite-size pieces

1 medium butternut squash, cut into bite-size pieces

1 large rutabaga, cut into bite-size pieces

3 cups cooked garbanzo beans, or 2 15-oz. cans

½ cup raisins

Cashews, to serve

Mango chutney, to serve

Chopped fresh cilantro, to garnish


  1. In a large pot, heat oil until it begins to smoke, then add all the seeds, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, and black pepper. Cover the pot, and allow the spices to pop and simmer for a couple minutes.
  2. Add ginger, garlic, and onion to the pot, stirring well to completely coat them in the whole spices. Sauté for about 2 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
  3. Next, add turmeric, fenugreek powder and leaves, again stirring well and cooking for another minute before coconut milk (if using) and salt. Allow the mixture to boil down and thicken a bit. Add chopped vegetables, chickpeas, raisins, and enough water or veggie broth to cover everything. Stir very well to combine, making sure that EVERYTHING is coated with the curry mixture. Bring to a boil, then cover and allow to simmer for about 45 minutes or an hour, or until all veggies are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt to accentuate the spices, stir, and serve garnished with cashews, cilantro, and a dollop of mango chutney.

Delicious served alongside brown basmati rice or, as pictured here, whole wheat couscous.

So, instead of curry, we enjoyed a Lebanese feast! I’ve blogged about Sanaa’s 8th Street Gourmet once before . Seriously, people, this is food AT ITS VERY BEST! Wow, I was blown away by last night’s buffet!

From top left, clockwise: green olive tapenade; swiss-chard barley pilaf; stewed cauliflower and potatoes; muhammara; tossed greens with walnuts, butternut squash, and tamarind dressing & topped with hummus; and eggplant monazalat, which is similar to moussaka, but has a creamy tahini sauce and pine nuts on top.

Recently, I made my own version of muhammara , and I was very pleasantly surprised to taste how similar mine was to Sanaa’s–almost spot on!


Most people don’t have access to pomegranate molasses, but just plain ol’ pomegranate arils work fine!


3 roasted red peppers (from a jar or roasted yourself )

2 cups roasted walnuts

1 average-sized pomegranate, arils removed and reserved*

3-4 garlic cloves

Salt & pepper, to taste

*Pomegranates can seem intimidating, but here’s a good tutorial .


Blend all ingredients in a food processor until chunky, not too smooth. Serve chilled.

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