After a few days of remarkably vegetable-lite meals, it was all I could think about. I had collards in the fridge, and was leaning toward Ethiopian collards when I also stumbled across some left over green beans and my plans took a sudden turn. I was slightly disappointed as this is, in fact, my favorite way of eating collards. But I was being realistic about the amount of time I wanted to spend cooking dinner, and Vegetable Alicha is pretty darn tasty, too, and this recipe is easy and delicious.
The sweet curry I used gave it a rich but non-spicy flavor, but you could add more hot chilies to spice it up or use a basic hot curry powder. There's a lot of chopping up front, but after that the use of prepared curry powder makes this dish a breeze.
Mixed Vegetables in Curry Sauce (Vegetable Alicha)
adapted from Taste of Eritrea
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed and chopped into around 1-2 inch lengths
1 onion, finely diced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped in circles
2 potatoes, chopped in 1 inch-ish pieces
1/3 - 1/2 cup vegetable oil (yes, it's a lot, but the veggies will stick)
1 tablespoon curry powder (I used Sweet Curry from Penzeys)
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (or other hot chili pepper)
1/2 cup parsley, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tsp salt (or to taste)
Set a pot of water to boil (for the beans) and set to chopping the veggies. Boil beans with 1/2 tsp salt for 5 minutes or so. Drain and set aside.
Heat oil in a saute pan large enough to accommodate all the ingredients (plus 3-4 C water). Saute onions until soft and golden. Add celery, carrots, and potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add string beans and stir to mix. Add curry, chili pepper, parsley, garlic. Add remaining teaspoon of salt and mix thoroughly.
Add three to four cups of water and cook at a low boil for around 25 minutes, or until potatoes and carrots are soft and liquid reduces to a thick sauce.
Traditionally served with injera, but I think this would make a great side dish or vegetable main for many meals.
Serves at least four
Kitchen Chick's notes: the original recipe called for 6 cups of water. I used four and am thinking that 3 would have been sufficient as it had to boil down quite a bit to thicken the sauce. It also called for 1 cauliflower separated into florets, but I did not have any on hand. If you want to add some, boil it first like the beans for 10 minutes or so. (The recipe says 15, but that seems long!) And adjust the water amount for the final bit to accommodate the extra veggies.
If you use a non-stick pan, you might try using less oil, but I would not forego all the oil as that will give a very different texture to the dish.