Open fire cooking is a new cooking method for me. My mom has been doing it in her backyard for quite a while now and showed me how to make this recipe. This was really her effort – I was mostly just there for the learning process.
What I like about open fire cooking is that since you don’t have to turn on the oven or stove, you’re keeping the heat out of the house during the summer months. It’s also a great excuse to get outside. Depending on what you’re willing to haul around, some of the recipes would be good for camping too. I personally like it better than grilling because it’s basically like traditional kitchen cooking with pots and pans except you do it outside. So a lot of the same dinners and desserts I make on a regular basis can be made over an open fire too. I’m sure people get pretty creative on their grills too but this was more intuitive for me.
If you don’t have a setup for open fire cooking you need a few things. First of all, a place to safely have an outdoor fire. Obviously if you can’t find that, you’re out of luck. Other than that, you’ll need some cast iron cookware (a medium pot for this recipe), heat resistant gloves, cooking utensils, and something to hold the cookware above the fire.
Below is a photo of my mom’s setup. The rack she uses is called a Texsport rotisserie grill and spit. If you’re cooking something with a lid on it, you might want a “lid lifter” too although you may be able to use something else. I couldn’t tell you exactly what else you could use because both my creativity and safety track record are lacking.
You won’t need a lid or lid lifter for this recipe! I may end up using those for a dessert recipe another time. It’s pretty cool because my mom makes all sorts of desserts using this cooking method too such as cakes and cobblers. It’s pretty impressive to watch her bake stuff over an open fire with less than precise temperature control.
I’m excited to have another vegan recipe on the blog that’s not a dessert or side dish. I think my dairy free recipes attracted a lot of vegan readers and I always feel bad that all my entrees contain animal products. So now I have 2 vegan entrees which isn’t a lot but it’s a start!
If you’re serving this over rice, a good shortcut is to use pre-cooked rice. I had no idea there was such a thing! (Aside from when I precook it then freeze it for later.) You can just run inside and heat the packet in the microwave real quick or you might get the curry hot enough to heat the rice up on it’s own. Otherwise, you can cook the rice indoors or take a shot at cooking it over an open fire while the curry is going. If using cauliflower rice, all you need is a cast iron skillet and a little extra fat to saute it in. It only takes a few minutes.
Another thing I should mention is the curry powder. There’s a lot of variation between curry powders so I recommend adding a little at a time and tasting as you go. If you have a spicier curry powder, keep in mind that there are some pretty hot chilies cooking in with the veggies so that will give you some heat too. We used Penzeys Spices’ “the now curry” which is pretty mild and doesn’t contain salt. If you have one that contains salt, reduce the amount of added salt in the recipe.
Side note: Did you see my announcement on Instagram last week?!
- 1½ C fresh green beans, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 small head of cauliflower, chopped
- 2 carrots, sliced
- ½ yellow onion, thickly sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
- 3 small potatoes (any variety), diced
- 2 whole dried red chilies
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 C water
- 2 tsp salt, divided
- 4 Tbsp curry powder *see notes
- 2 cans full fat coconut milk
- 3 C rice or cauliflower rice, cooked
- red pepper flakes to taste, optional
- sliced green onion to garnish, optional
- Wash and prep veggies ahead of time.
- Heat coconut oil in a cast iron pot over an open fire. Add minced garlic and heat until fragrant.
- Stir in all vegetables, dried chilies, 1 tsp salt, and water. Cover and allow to cook for about an hour or until potatoes are fully cooked, stirring occasionally. The cooking time may vary significantly depending on your outdoor cooking setup.
- If any water remains after cooking, drain off. ***Remove the 2 dried chilies. You probably don't want to eat these.***
- In a separate bowl, whisk together coconut milk, curry powder, and 1 tsp salt. Stir into the veggies and allow to heat for about 5 more minutes.
- Serve over rice or cauliflower rice. Garnish with red pepper flakes and green onion, if desired.
Cooking times may vary significantly depending on your outdoor cooking setup.