I have a self-admitted problem of sidelining greens. I’ll eat them every day but rarely are they the key to the recipe. Sure, most salads wouldn’t be salads without the greens. Yet, it’s rarely about them. I labeled this carrot curry but in reality, the kale is the core. The carrots are pureed into a creamy curry sauce that cooks the kale. It’s ultimate vegetarian comfort food. The paneer is also just a bonus. I’ve been into easy cheese making as of late and paneer is a good place to start. You can always leave it off or replace it with tofu.
Carrot Curry with Kale and Paneer
A hearty carrot curry made from pureeing carrots with raisins, coconut milk, and curry powder then cooking your favorite greens until tender.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 large (4 oz) shallot, minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1\" nub of ginger minced
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 2 cups shredded carrots about 8 ounces
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk
- Salt as needed
- 1/2 pound (8 oz) cups shredded lacinato kale
- 2 teaspoons olive oil or coconut oil
- 4 ounces paneer cheese
- 2 cups cooked quinoa or rice for serving
- Cilantro for serving
- Toasted coconut for serving
- Heat a dutch oven or tall-sided skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil followed by the shallot. Saute until the shallot is fragrant and translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and ginger, cooking for another minute or two.
Measure in the curry powder followed by the carrots and golden raisins. Add the vegetable broth and coconut milk to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until carrots are tender, 10 minutes.
- While the carrots are cooking, heat the 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a small pan. Cut the paneer into ½” cubes and fry over medium-low until golden, turning once during cooking. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Place the mixture carrot mixture in a blender and carefully puree until smooth. Transfer the sauce back to the pot and add the kale, in batches if necessary. Cook and wilt the kale slightly.
- Divide the grains into two bowls and top with the kale curry, paneer, cilantro, and toasted coconut.
Tips & Tricks:I am not the biggest fan of wilted vegetables and so I leave the kale slightly undercooked in this curry. It provides texture and bulk, without being too chewy. Of course, you can always cook the kale as much or as little as you like.
I highly recommend testing a few different curry powders to find one you like best. Depending on the region, curry powders range is flavor and heat. It’s best to test before you dive into a recipe!
Can't find paneer? You can make it at home!
Nutrition: see the information (includes quinoa).
Greens: Use spinach, chard, or collards in place of the kale. You can also speed up the recipe slightly by sautéing the greens separate from the curry sauce.
Sweet Potatoes: Use peeled and grated sweet potatoes in place of the carrots or a butternut squash/pumpkin puree would work as well.
Dates: If you can’t find golden raisin, a few pitted medjool dates would work as well.
Vegan: Leave off the paneer and add tofu if desired.
Protein: Make a creamier sauce by cooking 1/4 cup red lentils until tender and pureeing them into the sauce along with the carrots. More liquid will be needed.
Carrots are the perfect transitional produce. They help to add a pop of color during the spring and fall months when produce starts to transition. I love their slightly sweet flavor when paired with earthier ingredients. Also, I rarely peel carrots- just give them a good scrub!