Creamy Curried Swiss Chard

Curried Swiss Chard

So my

last recipe

led to some interesting conversations... and realizations.

Meeta

had commented that she finds it easy to cook with vegetables and it made me realise that vegetarian cooking in my repertoire definitely has room for experimentation and improvement. It isn't that I don't eat a lot of vegetables or fully vegetarian meals. It is just that I think I need more variety. Yes, there are tons of nice recipes with just vegetables on this blog. But, I still think I am not quite as versatile as I can be. I have indeed taken the excuse of lack of variety in the North East US as an easy way out of not flexing my mind.

Besides, a lot of what comes to mind when making a vegetarian meal is adding lentils or grains to supplement it. I feel now that in doing so, I am indeed doing a disservice! Now, I am one to believe that the carb element should be the completion or the carrier rather than the bulk item on the plate. Yet, a lot of times, I simply entwine everything into a complex equation in the hope to fooling everyone, mostly me!

Curried Swiss Chard

Anyway, the good thing is that I am going to work more on creating more interesting whole meals that have the vegetable as the star rather than the supporting cast, like this

favorite one

or this

warming meal

. I look back on those and realize how satisfying they were in of their own. It is time I gave more credibility to their ilk. So, I'll keep you posted on how that goes.

In the meantime, here is today's recipe. Of course, it is vegetarian. But, I also want to pick beef with the idea of 'sides'. Technically, what I have for you would classify as one of those. But, I and the dish would take umbrage to that. And, here is why. A 'side' I define as something that is unidimensional in texture, flavor and most importantly nutrition. Lovely as they are, it does mean, mashed, fried, or dauphined potatoes are sides because they are fit the above description to a tee. As would mushy peas or wilted collard greens or sautΓ©ed green beans. Essentially, a side cannot be in the center and so, it is fine. I get it.

Curried Swiss Chard

But, where I start questioning the line is when it comes to creamed spinach or loaded mac and cheese. How are those sides? They could be a lovely meal all by themselves! Is that because, there is no meat in them? Wait, how about sausages AND mashed potatoes. They are called two different sides but really they are Bangers and Mash.. Erm?!

So, I contend that this Curried Swiss Chard I have for you today is definitely, undoubtedly NOT a side. It is the front, middle and center and is bowl-licking good. You can of course, eat this with bread or any meat etc. but I say, eat it on its own and tell me you are not happy! Also, if you have leftovers, make lasagne with it. To die for and you vegetarian friends will be kissing you .. only in gratitude! ;-)

For more chard in your life, check out the recipes below -

Tomatillo, Swiss Chard and Jalapeno Quiche

Braised Swiss Chard

BLASTS FROM THE PAST

One year ago:

I was grumbling about the passing of Summer and indulging in this Dessert -

Roast Peaches and Hibiscus Cream

Two years ago:

A inauguration and celebration with these

Low Gluten Spiced Carrot Cupcakes

Three years ago:

Fried Okra Tarts

Four years ago:

Bouillabaisse

- Perfect as it is getting cooler

Creamy Curried Swiss Chard

{ The creaminess in this comes from melting cheese curds. This was a serendipitous chance to be honest. I was expecting it to hold firm like Indian cheese but it behaved more like fresh mozzarella with an oomph of flavor. It is lovely when warm as the strands ring through the greens to create that creamy flow on the palate.

Curried Swiss Chard

I cooked this in peanut oil. I like the element of nuttiness it adds and I grew up with food cooked in that oil. But you can just as easily use olive oil or butter or ghee}

1 hefty bunch of swiss chard, chopped

1 medium red onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 medium tomatoes, diced

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp chilli flakes

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

handful or cubed cheese curds

salt and oil as needed

Heat a little oil in a pan and add the whole spices until fragrant. Add the onion and garlic and sautΓ© until soft.

Ad salt, and the ground seasoning and sautΓ© for a couple of minutes to incorporate them.

Add tomatoes and Swiss Chard. Close the pan with its lid and cook on low for 15 minutes.

Check to see if the pot is running dry. If so, add a little water. Continue cooking for another 15-20 minutes until tender and flavorful.

The low and slow process allows the greens to cook slowly taking in the juices of the tomato and being infused by all the spices.

Add the cheese curds, close the lid and remove from heat. They will melt into the dish in the residual heat.

You can serve in 5 -10 minutes or store for later. While reheating, simply warm over low heat covered or in the microwave.