Long ago one of my ancestors was born in India, even though the connection is distant, I still love to know that my ancestor comes from all over the Jewish world, including India. Jews have been in India for many generations, and what is wonderful about Indian cuisine is that today it is accessible to so many people today. The spices are readily available, the cuisine is often vegan, and even gluten-free. If you have never attempted a curry, this is a great place to start.

Because I’m sensitive to chilli I leave it out, but for an authentic Indian flavor add it to your heat limit. And because my children are picky, I tend to use a handheld blender to process the chopped tomato, so no tomato pieces are visible – but the flavor is still there.

  • 2 tablespoons curry powder (sweet or mild)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
  • 60ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped fine (about 2 cups)
  • 2-3 potatoes, scrubbed and cut into (1 cm) 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 – 1 ½ chilli peppers, ribs, seeds, and flesh minced (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ medium head cauliflower, trimmed, cored, and cut into 2 cm (1-inch) florets (about 4 cups)
  • 1 x400g (14 ounces) tin (can) chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml (1 ¼ cups) water
  • 1 x400g (14 ounces) tin (can) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Salt to taste
  • 8 ounces frozen peas (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 60ml (¼ cup) coconut milk
  1. Toast curry powder and garam masala in a small skillet over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until spices darken slightly and become fragrant about 1 minute. Remove spices from the skillet and set aside.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions and potatoes and cook, stirring constantly, until onions are caramelised and potatoes are golden brown on edges, about 10 minutes. (Reduce heat to medium if onions darken too quickly).
  3. Reduce heat to medium. Clear the center of the pot and add remaining tablespoon oil, garlic, ginger, chilli (if using), and tomato paste; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add toasted spices and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute longer.
  4. Add cauliflower and cook, stirring constantly, until spices coat florets, about 2 minutes longer. Add tomatoes, water, and chickpeas. Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to boil, scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Cover and reduce heat to medium.
  5. Simmer briskly, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in peas and coconut milk; continue to cook until heated through, about 2 minutes longer. Adjust seasoning with salt and serve. Best served with rice.