Recipes for using up produce [Cooking]

2016 Aug 1
It's that time of the year--when the garden starts to produce more than you can eat. Here is a place to share some ideas for using stuff up!

My contribution was borne of such necessity--too much chard (which partner does not really fancy), tomatoes, carrots, and Portugal Hot peppers.

Curried Carrots and Chard


2 large tomatoes, coarsely chopped (to yield about 1.5 cup of puree)
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 - 2 hot green chiles, coarsely chopped (to taste)
1 TB coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 TB paprika

½ tsp red pepper powder (to taste—it will be pretty spicy already if you use two green chiles)
3 TB ghee
½ tsp cumin seed
¼ tsp asafoetida
1 large onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced

3 large carrots, diced
1 large bunch of chard, sliced finely (including the stems)

½ tsp garam masala (or more like 1 tsp if using store-bought)
1 tsp kasoori methi (toasted briefly in a dry skillet until fragrant, then crushed)
1/3 cup cream
up to 2 tsp sugar
Salt to taste


1. Process tomato, ginger, green chiles, coriander powder, turmeric, paprika, and red pepper powder in a blender or food processor until smooth.

2. Heat ghee in a large, deep skillet (ideally non-stick). When hot, add cumin and asafoetida and cook for about 30 seconds, or until cumin darkens a shade or two. Add onions and sauté over medium heat until golden and just starting to brown (about 10 minutes). Add garlic and sauté for a minute or two more.

3. Add tomato mixture to onions, and increase heat to high. Stir frequently to keep it from scorching, especially if you are not using a non-stick pan. If spices start to stick to the bottom despite aggressive stirring and scraping, add a couple of tsp of water to loosen them up. Fry the puree over medium-high heat until it is reduced by about one third to one half. You will know it is reduced enough when the ghee starts to separate from the puree (AKA the “masala”).

4. Add carrots and about 2/3 cup of water—just enough to give the carrots some liquid to cook in, and salt to taste (I use about ½ tsp). [I know the reducing and then adding back water does not make a lot of sense, but it does taste better that way--the spices lose their harsh edge, and the tomatoes caramelize a bit.] Simmer covered until carrots are tender, about 20 minutes. Add chard, cover, and simmer another 10 minutes, adding a little more water if needed to keep it loose.

5. Add garam masala, kasoori methi, and cream; simmer for a few minutes. Add water as desired to reach your desired consistency. Adjust salt, add sugar if desired (depends on how sweet your tomatoes are), and serve.