Sometimes the simplest of things bring the most joy, like witnessing handpicked apples being washed and bitten into by tiny sets of teeth, watching a holiday movie for the umpteenth time while munching on old-fashioned, kettle-fresh popcorn and laughing collectively at the same old jokes as the snowflakes fall in sheets outside, or serving a simple comforting meal to the family that has finally gathered around the table all at once on a Friday evening.
What then is a simple, comforting meal, one might ask. It can be anything from a favored warm soup to a tenderly cooked vegetable mix, eaten with rice, breads or by itself. Back in the day when we fussed over vegetables, pushing the peas around our plates like tennis balls while our Moms got busy scooping up dessert, or fingering the carrot cubes until they flew in imperfect arcs to land in the garbage cans when our Moms had stirred from their chairs to re-heat something else, we never imagined we’d face similar things as Moms ourselves. But we did, and we learned our way around them.
In this instance, one of our triumphs is highlighted – in which we combined those two sweet yet shunned vegetables in an agreeably spiced up side dish that turned the sorry shrugs into cheering little arms thrown right up in the air.
Creamy Carrot and Peas Curry
- 1 Tablespoon oil
- ½ Teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 Medium onion, minced
- 6 Carrots, chopped
- 2 Cups peas – frozen or fresh
- Salt to taste
- 1/8 Teaspoon cayenne/ red chilli powder
- ½ Teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ Teaspoon ground cumin
- Pinch of turmeric
- ½ Cup whole milk or half-and-half
- ¼ Teaspoon garam masala
- ¼ Cup chopped coriander/cilantro leaves
- Heat the oil in a large skillet or kadhai placed on medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and let them toast up for a few seconds. Stir in the onions and cook until they are just starting to turn brown. Tip in the carrots. Toss on medium-high heat for a couple of minutes. Add the peas.
- Add the salt, cayenne/red chilli powder, ground coriander and cumin, and turmeric. Continue to toss for another minute.
- Now add a splash of water and lower the heat. Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender.
- Uncover and pour in the milk. Simmer until the milk has almost evaporated, leaving a little gravy clinging to the carrots and peas. Stir in the garam masala and garnish with the chopped coriander/cilantro.
Serve warm, as a salad or a side.
Note: You can also substitute a 1-pound bag of carrot and peas in this recipe in place of the fresh ones that we have used.
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