Frozen vegetables are a great resource for when you haven’t made it to the grocery store lately. We go through rather a lot of storebought frozen spinach, okra and peas, and I freeze my own berries, rhubarb, tomatillos and roasted peppers. Frozen corn, though, I have issues with. Whether I buy it or shuck and freeze it myself, I just never get around to using it. This may explain the half-full bag of corn that’s been sitting in our freezer for the past three years. Oops.
Thankfully, it is now gone, thanks to Monica Bhide. We had a vindaloo for dinner last night – a great pantry dinner for us, as we always have pork, chiles and vinegar on hand – and were trying to come up with a vegetable side that wouldn’t involve shopping. Jon opened up Monica’s excellent book Modern Spice and found a pea curry that we were able to adapt to the ingredients on hand, and it just happened to use frozen corn as well as peas. Finally, I could use up that ancient bag! It had more than a little freezer burn and a ton of ice in it, but the prospect of actually making use of it was too compelling.
The recipe started traditionally, frying minced onions in butter. I skipped Monica’s step of adding water, and just went ahead with it (figuring all that ice in the veg would add liquid), adding a pinch of ground cloves and another of ground cinnamon. The recipe called for fresh or frozen fenugreek, which we’ve looked for but never found, but it also called for dried fenugreek leaves, which we do have. I added a teaspoon of those. Once that was all sauteeing, I added a small amount of cream and let the pan simmer gently for about ten minutes. A pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar, and it was done.
Served alongside the vindaloo with basmati rice, this was amazingly successful. The sweetness of the creamy vegetables was the perfect foil for the pungent curry. I’d love to make this again…except that I’d have to buy a new bag of frozen corn. And I just don’t know if I can commit to another three years.