Saturday, August 9, 2014

Coconut Kale Stew

It's been cool and misty between bouts of rain here in the mountains. It's definitely not August weather, but at least we're reaping the benefits of the seasonal vegetables! This recipe is a hearty, healthy dish to keep warm with on a cold night and fills the kitchen with the best medley of scents -- stewing garlic, fresh greens, curry, butter, onions, the list goes on. Seeing as I use premixed curry blends most of the time this is also pretty easy and keeps well in the refrigerator. Serves 6-8 people.

20 oz light coconut milk
3 large cloves garlic or the equivalent, chopped finely
10 oz water
1 bunch of kale chopped into small pieces, about 4-5 cups loose after chopping
1 1/2 tbsp red curry powder (there are so many varieties of curry, I usually reach for my shahi paneer masala for a red curry)
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp powdered turmeric
1 cup precooked saffron rice (optional)
salt to taste

1 Italian onion, grated
1/2 lb tofu, cubed
1 bowl brine (salted) water
2 tbsp butter

Soak the tofu in the brine water for at least half an hour; remove and pat completely dry with a paper towel.

Start by cooking the kale in the mix of coconut milk, water, and chopped garlic. The kale should be cooked until tender, depending on your preference and the variety you've selected this could be 15 minutes to an hour.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the tofu, wait a few minutes and then add the grated onion. Cook until at least one side of each tofu cube is golden browned, and the onions are beginning to caramelize.

Add the spices and rice to the kale-garlic broth. Then pour the contents of the saucepan -- the onion, tofu, and butter -- into the pot. Finish by adding salt to taste. Simmer for at least 15 minutes, although a longer time at a lower temperature will yield thicker results. Serve hot with flatbread and chai tea.

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