Winter Vegetable Curry aka Vegetable Curry in a Hurry

This recipe was created to be taken into space with the launch of space shuttle Discovery in 2006.

When chopping the eggplant for this recipe, Rachael only peels away half of the skin – she likes the color and texture of a little of the black skin in the dish.


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
  • 1 1/2 cups Basmati rice
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock, divided
  • 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 firm eggplant, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (14 ounces), drained
  • 1 can chickpeas (15 ounces), drained
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 slightly rounded tablespoons mild or hot curry paste
  • 3 rounded tablespoons mango chutney
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • A handful of cilantro or parsley
  • Toasted slivered almonds or pieces of cashew


Heat a medium pot over medium heat with EVOO, one turn of the pan. Add the rice and toast, 1-2 minutes. Add 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock and the bay leaf, lemon zest, turmeric, coriander, cumin and cardamom, if using. Cover the pot and bring rice to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the rice for 18 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork, remove the bay leaf and add the butter. Toss to coat the rice evenly, then serve.

While the rice cooks, make the vegetables. Heat a deep nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons EVOO, two turns of the pan. Add the onion, garlic, cauliflower, eggplant and bell pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 7-8 minutes until tender. Uncover and add the tomatoes, chickpeas, salt, pepper, curry paste, chutney and the remaining 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock. Simmer 6-7 minutes longer.

Serve the curry with scoops of rice on top – Rachael uses an ice cream scoop to portion it. If you put the rice on top, it will not get mushy. Garnish with scallions, cilantro or parsley and nuts.

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Rachael Ray