I’m currently in the middle of Barbara Kingsolver’s book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle in which the author documents a year of life on a farm. And not only that, it’s a year when her family decided to live on local products exclusively. Most of them, they grew in their own garden. The book’s inspiring and intriguing. My head is full of food-related thoughts ranging from organic produce, through local farming, to ecologically sustainable agriculture.
I’m not able or ready to swear off imported fruits and vegetables just yet, but I decided to change a few of my habits. After all, we are creatures of habit, and as effortlessly and gradually as I moved to a more plant-based and vegetable-centered diet, I might change to a locavore. One day, maybe.
One of the first things I decided to do is to focus on in-season produce. It will be quite tricky since winter is just around the corner, but let’s give it a try.
In the era when we can buy strawberries in December, it’s quite difficult to know what’s actually in season. And where that season is. With greenhouses, import/export of seeds, and changing climate what was once impossible to grow in our region might strive here these days. Also, as long as the information about the product’s origin isn’t a mandatory part of its packaging, it’s difficult to find out where exactly that product grew, was processed and packaged.
It’s not easy to change from one day to another, and I don’t plan to set a strict set of rules for myself. I’ll start by paying more attention to where my produce comes from. I’ll aim to buy locally (or regionally) grown fruits and vegetables more often, to source a part of my weekly groceries directly from farmers, and to change our recipes rotation just slightly to eat more seasonally, locally, and sustainably.
This Sweet Potato, Carrot & Chickpea Curry has, unfortunately, a very little to do with my local eating attempt. Sweet potatoes are imported to Europe from overseas, as are chickpeas and coconut milk. Nevertheless, this curry is delicious with it’s sweet and sour taste, a result of using canned tomatoes and coconut milk.
I guess international cuisine, non-seasonal ingredients, and imported goods will always be part of my cooking but I’ll attempt to go back to basic. Back to my roots, to recipes our grandparents used, ingredients locals grew. I’ll keep you posted. And until then, please enjoy this curry, it’s full of delicious international flavors, healthy ingredients, and it’s easy to make.
Sweet Potato, Carrot & Chickpea Curry
Servings: 5-6 bowls
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion
- 2 carrots
- 1 1/2 cup cooked chickpea
- 2-3 sweet potatoes (about 250-300 grams)
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 can coconut milk
- 45-50 grams red curry paste
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- pinch of chili powder
- Heat the olive oil in a big pot. Add the diced onion and saute until golden. Next, add the diced carrots and sweet potato and saute for a few more minutes.
- Add 3/4 cup of water, turmeric powder and a half a teaspoon of salt. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.
- After the potatoes and carrots softened, add the tomatoes, chickpeas, curry paste, coconut milk and a cup of water to the pot. Add more water if you would like to make a more soup-like curry.
- At last, season with salt as needed and add a pinch of chili if desired. Let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Serve with rice, naan, or bread.