BY NATHAN DUKE
To celebrate Black History Month, which kicked off on Thursday, Jamaica’s MS 72—also known as the Catherine and Count Basie Middle School—will explore the month through food during an upcoming event.
From 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 8, Allergic To Salad—an in-school and after-school culinary program that reinforces STEM and CORE curriculum, while teaching children to cook and appreciate healthier food choices—will instruct MS 72’s students on how to make korma, a dish from the Indian subcontinent that relied upon the transatlantic slave trade for its spices.
Korma is a sauce-like stew similar to curry in its spices. The transatlantic movement of Indian spices and dishes, the western advent of curry powder and the vegetables cultivated and made accessible by the once-enslaved people of the Caribbean and southern United States are among the topics that Allergic To Salad will discuss with the students as they prepare the korma.
While preparing the recipe, the students will also discuss the provenance of the ingredients and the significance they hold for the people who grow and cook with them. The class will also learn how various spices—such as cardamom or coriander—invoke specific feelings through their flavors and scents.
Stacey Ornstein, the founder of Allergic To Salad, will be in attendance during the event at the school, which is located at 133-25 Guy R. Brewer Blvd.
In the meantime, Allergic To Salad has provided the recipe for Kale and White Bean Korma, which is the dish that the students will make during the class.
Kale and White Bean Korma
1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced ginger
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (optional)
4 ounces tomato sauce
1 ½ tablespoons curry powder
1 13.5 ounce can light coconut milk
2 cups kale, roughly chopped
15 ounces white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until soft and translucent.
Stir in the garlic and ginger, then continue stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the sweet potatoes, tomato sauce, and curry powder and continue stirring for 10 minutes or until the potatoes begin to soften.
Add the coconut milk, kale, and beans to the pot. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and completely cooked through.
DIY Curry Powder
5 tablespoons ground coriander seeds
2 tablespoons ground cumin seeds
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons ground fenugreek seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground chile peppers
Toast and combine spices. Makes about ¾ cup.