Pandemic Pantry: Curry with Cheesy Polenta

Creamy curry and crispy, cheesy polenta combine in this “meal of leftovers.” Both parts of this recipe can be prepared ahead of time and stored overnight in the fridge; cook the polenta but don’t fry it until the reheated dish is ready to serve.


  • 300 g new potatoes, baked or boiled until soft
  • 225 g diced squash, tempeh, seitan, or baked tofu
  • 1 red onion, diced (optional)
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 C coconut milk or cream

Spices for the Curry:

  • 1 1-inch cube ginger root, peeled and grated or minced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Vindaloo powder or your favorite spicy curry powder
  • 4 tbsp canola oil, coconut oil, or your favorite cooking oil
  • 2 black cardamom pods, slightly crushed


  • 1 C Polenta
  • 6 oz Goat cheese
  • 1/2 C Parmesan/Asiago
  • 4 1/4 C water or bouillon
  • 1/2 C olive oil (or enough to fill a frying pan 1 cm)


  • A large frying pan with lid
  • A spatula
  • A cutting board
  • A chef’s knife
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • A large spoon
  • A serving plate or platter
  • A ginger grater or garlic mincer

Preparing the Curry:

  • Warm the cooking oil to low-medium heat in a large frying pan.
  • Add the ginger and garlic, and sauté until the garlic has started to caramelize.
  • Add the potatoes, the squash, the shallot, the onion, and the curry powder, and sauté until the shallot (and onion) is translucent.
  • Add the tomatoes and the cardamom pods. Cook for 5 minutes, then lower the heat and simmer for another 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the coconut milk and cook, stirring frequently, for another 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Preparing the Polenta:

  • Follow the preparation directions in this post on making cheesy polenta, just double the ingredients. Alternatively, you can cook your batches of polenta as needed, following the usual recipe.
  • 10-15 minutes before serving, fry your polenta in the olive oil on medium heat for 5-8 minutes on each side or until they turn a crispy, golden brown. Cover the frying pan with a lid during frying to prevent splashes.


  • Arrange the polenta squares on a plate.
  • Spoon the curry over the polenta.
  • Garnish with fines herbes, fresh cilantro, or fresh parsley.
  • Serve immediately.

Cooking Notes:

  • This recipe makes 6-10 servings, depending on portion size.
  • Frozen butternut squash works well in this recipe.

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