Recipe: Japanese Curry Sauce Plus

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Figured it’s time I get back to posting my cooking experiments.

This sauce came about after seeing an Indian mini-cafeteria on my job.  It had some lovely thick sauces that looked like a complete meal on rice, and there was a dish that was a bed of greens, then rice, then curry.  These came together in my head to make me ask “can I make a curry sauce that is largely a meal?”

This is the result.  This sauce’s body comes from squash and garbanzo beans and tastes very much like my Japanese Curry sauces.  Each serving has a about serving of legumes and a serving of vegetables in it.  Throw it onto rice with a side dish – or rice and a bed of greens, say shredded spinach, and you have a very complete meal.

Makes 6-8 servings


  • 1 small butternut squash (about 2 pounds unpeeled), peeled, seeded, cut into cubes.
  • 2 tomatoes, diced.
  • 3 cups cooked garbanzo beans (2 14.5 oz cans)
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 2/3 cup red wine (shiraz and zinfandel are good)
  • 4 tablespoons curry powder.
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4  tablespoons soy sauce (If you use store-bought not-quite sodium free vegetable broth, use 1 Tbsp)
  • 4T bsp garlic
  • 4 1/2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 4 Tbsp peanut butter

To prepare:

  1. Place squash, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, vegetable stock, wine into a pot, bring to boil, simmer.
  2. While bringing to boil, add other ingredients one at a time, stirring.
  3. When the squash is soft, mash with potato masher to break it and the beans and tomatoes up.
  4. Either puree with immersion blender or let cool and puree in regular blender.

Notes:  This sauce is a bit thick, may need more vegetable broth – I’d say ½ to 1 cups.  it’s also hot so you might want to tone the curry powder down a bit depending on taste

– Steve

Catalan-Style Beans

This is a recipe for a basic spanish/Catalonian-type bean dish, a variant of one I saw in a cookbook and did my own version of (mostly to make it simpler and easier).  It’s not perfect, but it came out darn good the first time – more below.

Catalan-Style Beans

  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 4 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, dices
  • 1 1/2 tbsp crushed garlic (about 4 big cloves)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground thyme
  • generous pinch cinnamon
  • 3 cups (2 cans) of white beans or garbanzos, low-sodium
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Mix all ingredients except beans in a skillet.  Sautee for 3 minutes to allow blend, cover, lower heat.  Cook 10 minutes, simmering.
  3. Place beans on bottom of a 2 quart baking dish, spread out evenly.
  4. Cover beans with tomato mixture.
  5. Place in oven, cook uncovered for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.
  6. Serve.

This freeze and reheats well – in fact the flavor may improve after a bit of reheating – don’t overdo reheating it, the beans can get a bit soft if you use navy beans.

This recipe was pretty good the first time, with a simple flavor, nice fragrance, a bit of a zippy kick from the tomatoes and garlic.  A nice, light main course.  It needs some tweaking – the flavor could use a bit of depth and I think there may have been a bit much liquid – but it’s one of those recipes where the first time showed there’s something to this.

Improvement-wise I’m thinking of: less olive oil, uncovering the mix during the simmer phase to reduce fluid, and cooking at a slightly lower temperature.  I have also tried it with paprika (not sure) and some red pepper (which was good).

Also it’s easy to make after the initial sautee-and-simmer, since it basically sits in the oven for an hour with an occasional stir!

Serving-wise I’ve had it with polenta, steamed garlic, and vinegared turnips.  Despite its kick, it works with vinegared food and other sours, and I think it goes good with greens.  The polenta worked due to sweetness, so it’d also probably go good with corn, peas, rice, and bread.

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, publishes books on career and culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at

Recipe: Quick Provincial Soup

Whew, been awhile between posts.  Sorry gang, had a trade show and a lot to do.  So now let me emerge from the Steve Cave with this lovely recipe.

Quick Provincial Soup

4 servings

This is a variant of a Mediterranean vegetarian recipe from a cookbook.  Unlike a lot of my recipes it does involve adding salt, so use low-sodium diced tomatoes.  The original recipe ALSO used pre-herbed tomatoes which I despise because of the lack of control.

  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 2 14 oz cans diced, sodium free tomatoes drained (or about 3 cups diced tomatoes).
  • 2 tbsp mixed italian herbs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Half a large cabbage head, shredded.
  • 14 oz white beans, low-sodium, drained and rinsed
  • 4 tsp olive oil.


  1. Place water, tomatoes, herbs, salt, pepper in a pot, bring to boil, and lower to simmer.
  2. Add cabbage to mixture.  Simmer, covered, stirring every few minutes until cabbage is wilted – that’s about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in beans and heat through.
  4. Spoon into bowls.  In each, mix 1 tsp olive oil.

The result . . .

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