Preparation / Directions:
1. Separate the onion pieces into segments and spread them in a heavy frying pan. Add no liquid or fat. Heat the pan gently, cooking at moderate heat without stirring for 7 to 10 minutes, until the onions are sizzling, speckled with dark amber and beginning to stick to the pan.
2. Stir in 1.5 cup stock and deglaze the pan (i.e. let it bubble up, stirring up the browned bits in the pan with a spoon as it bubbles). Stir in the garlic, spices, peppers, carrots and mushrooms. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until the mixture is very thick (not at all soupy) and the vegetables are "frying" in their own juices. Don't rush this step; it is essential that the spices should not have a raw, harsh taste. Cook very gently for a few more minutes. Stir in the tomato paste.
3. Cool slightly, then puree half the mixture in a blender and push it through a sieve. Combine the pureed and unpureed mixture in the pan.
4. Add the potatoes and cauliflower to the pan. Toss everything together very well. Pour in additional stock to reach about one third of the way up the sides of the pan. Squeeze the lemon juice over the contents of the pan. Season with salt, bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the beans and continue simmering for 5 minutes more or until all the vegetables are tender.
Note: this reheats very well. If you plan to cook it ahead, undercook the curry slightly so that the vegetables do not become mushy when they are reheated. Given the interest recently in Indian food, I thought I'd start posting with some Indian recipes. This is from "Slim Cuisine" by Sue Kreitzman, a lowfat (but not exclusively vegetarian) cookery book.
It is particularly interesting for her technique of dealing with spices which usually require being fried in oil to prevent them having a very un-Indian, sandy, gritty texture and raw taste.
The sauce is a thick and rich puree of onions, peppers, mushrooms and carrots. Serve the curry with cucumber raita and Basmati rice for a delicious main dish, or serve it as part of an array of curries. I have also served it tossed into pasta.