With kids back in school and fall football season underway, that slow cooker in your cabinet might be seeing new life. Even hardcore food snobs can find reason to use one of these straightforward devices, which is perfect for a big pot of game day chili or a weeknight roast. But the truth is, slow cookers can handle a wide variety of foods, including vegetarian. I love a basic vegetable curry, and one of the easiest ways to pull it off is in a slow cooker.
This recipe starts with simply poaching fresh vegetables, onions, garlic and ginger in a flavorful broth for a few hours. The vegetables are flexible. You can use what’s listed here, or incorporate others like green peas, scallions, cauliflower, white potatoes and eggplant. In the final stage of the cooking process, add coconut milk and curry paste so the milk doesn’t overcook. That’s also a good time to add softer vegetables like mushrooms and peas, or vegetables you want to keep crisp, like broccoli and green beans.
Serve the finished curry over your favorite noodles or rice. Here, I’m using whole wheat pasta, but I also like jasmine rice and rice noodles. Top with fresh herbs and chili flakes, and you’ve got an easy, healthy meal.
Slow cooker vegetable curry
Note: the fish sauce provides the salt element, so taste before breaking out the salt shaker.
1 15.5-ounce can garbanzo beans
2 cups peeled, diced sweet potatoes
2 bell peppers (preferably red, yellow or orange), cut into large dices
1 yellow onion, cut into large dices
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
4 cups broth (vegetable or chicken)
1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
2 tablespoons red curry paste
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 cups broccoli florets
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
½ cup fresh green beans, trimmed
Cooked noodles or rice for serving
For garnish: fresh chopped cilantro and chili flakes
To a slow cooker, add the garbanzo beans and next six ingredients (through broth). Turn to low and let cook for 4 hours. In the last 30 minutes of the cooking process, stir in the coconut milk and the next five ingredients (through green beans). Turn off the heat. Remove from the vessel. Serve over cooked noodles or rice. Garnish with chopped cilantro and chili flakes.
Maggie Heyn Richardson is a regular 225 contributor and the author of Hungry for Louisiana, An Omnivore’s Journey (LSU Press). Reach her at hungryforlouisiana.com.