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Any protein, veggie goes in quick curry

Cherry tomatoes were the only type I grew this year, relying instead on the generosity of family and friends for larger fruits.

But it’s starting to feel like l’m the charitable one, who’s stepped in to salvage excess tomatoes from rotting into the dirt and moldering on the vines.

This week saw me peeling and freezing more quart-sized batches of Roma and plum tomatoes. Canning them simply isn’t in the cards this year, given still more excess produce to manage in weekly deliveries of my family’s CSA share.

When the early fall rush is a mere memory, however, I know I’ll look on those bags of frozen tomatoes as gems. There won’t be enough to meet my household’s demand for tomato sauce, so I’ll ration them over the more distinctive dishes on our menus.

A good candidate is this tomato curry, courtesy of Tribune News Service. Going beyond mere tomato sauce, the recipe enriches the fruits — along with any other vegetable and protein of choice — with coconut milk. And while canned tomatoes are indicated here, frozen garden tomatoes, thawed, would be an effortless substitute.

Tribune News Service photo

Quick Tomato Curry

3 tablespoons ghee, coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil

1 large red onion, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges

1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and finely grated

4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

Kosher salt, to taste

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon garam masala

1 bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon honey

1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes

1 (15-ounce) can coconut milk

12 ounces chicken, cut into strips

1/2 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt

1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro

In a large, wide saucepan over medium-high, heat the ghee or oil. Add the onion and cook, turning occasionally, until undersides are golden brown, for about 2 minutes.

Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, for about 2 minutes. Season with salt.

Add the garam masala, bay leaf and red pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the honey and cook until slightly caramelized, for about 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes along with juices and bring to a boil, smashing down on tomatoes with a wooden spoon until pieces are no bigger than 1 inch. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring often and scraping up browned bits from bottom of pot, until sauce thickens, for 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and cook, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens, for 20 to 25 minutes. Taste and season with salt, if needed.

Add the chicken strips and reduce heat to low. Cook, partially covered, until chicken is cooked through, for 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt.

In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, a big pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons water.

Drizzle yogurt sauce over stew. Top with the cilantro before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

— Recipe from bonappetit.com