This is a versatile recipe that lends itself to many variations. Use any roasted vegetables you like in place of the cauliflower and/or delicata squash. Use cooked lentils in place of the chickpeas. Use pre-fab curry powder in place of the spice blend and half the amount of dried turmeric in place of the fresh. Add a few handfuls of spinach toward the end of cooking, or serve the curry over a different cooked grain. Our other favorite version uses mild poblano peppers in place of the cauliflower and chickpeas, which I've included below. To cook your own chickpeas, cover a cup or two of dried beans with plenty of cool water and let soak 8 hours or overnight. Drain, then place in a pot with plenty of water and a small bay leaf. Simmer, partially covered, until the chickpeas are almost tender, then add a teaspoon or so of salt to the water and continue cooking until the beans are tender but still hold their shape. Let cool in their broth, then refrigerate until needed, up to a week.
1cupcooked and drained chickpeas(6 ounces / 170 grams)
a few handfuls cilantro leaves, washed and chopped
lime wedges and plain yogurt, for serving
Make the quinoa:
Cover the quinoa with several inches of cool water and soak 1 hour. After an hour, drain the quinoa through a fine mesh strainer and rinse it well to remove any bitter coating. Place the drained quinoa in a medium saucepan with the 1 1/2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to very low, cover, and let steam until tender and all the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
Roast the vegetables:
Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 400ºF.
Halve the squash lengthwise and scoop out and discard the seeds and
strings. Place a half cut-side down and cut crosswise into 1/2" thick slices. Repeat with the remaining squash. Toss with 1 tablespoon oil and a few pinches of salt, spread in an even layer on a baking pan, and roast until golden and tender, 20-30 minutes, turning the slices when the bottoms are golden.
Toss the cauliflower florets with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and a few pinches of salt. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast until golden and crisp tender, tossing occasionally, about 20 minutes.
Make the curry:
In a small, dry skillet, toast the coriander, cumin, and black pepper over a medium flame until they smell fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Let cool, then grind finely in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
Peel the onion, halve it, and cut it into thin slices. Peel the garlic cloves, and slice them thinly. Peel the ginger chunks and cut them into slivers. Halve the chile, remove the seeds and ribs, and slice it thinly. (Be sure to wash your hands well with soapy water lest the chile oils burn your skin.)
Melt the ghee in a wide skillet over medium heat. When it shimmers, add the onion, garlic, ginger, and chile, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is wilted and tender, 10 minutes. Add the spice mixture, turmeric, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook for 5 minutes longer. Add the chickpea broth to the pan and stir up any good stuff sticking to the bottom. Add the coconut milk, give it a stir, and bring to a simmer. Gently fold in the chickpeas, roasted cauliflower and squash, and let simmer 5 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the cilantro. Taste, adding more salt if you feel the curry needs it.
Serve the curry over the quinoa accompanied with a lime wedge to squeeze over it and a dollop of yogurt if you like.
The curry and quinoa keep well, refrigerated airtight, for up to a few days. Reheat before serving.
Variation: Delicata Squash and Poblano Pepper Curry
Omit the cauliflower and the spicy chile. Cut 3-4 mild poblanos, halved and seeded, crosswise into wide strips, adding them along with the turmeric and spices. After you've added the squash, simmer the curry until the chiles are cooked enough for your liking but still somewhat firm. The chickpeas are optional.
Nutritional values are based on one of four servings.