3 curry recipes with a Latin twist that can help reduce your risk of diabetes!

Although I didn't start eating curry until I was 18 years old, Indian and Thai cooking is now some of my favorite (after my abuelita's Cuban food, of course). There are actually a surprising amount of Southeast Asian influences in Latin cooking, too, and I've always loved that.

Now a new study has determined that a compound found in curry spice may actually help prevent diabetes in people that are at high risk. With the rate of diabetes among Latinos astronomically high, it's a wonder all of us aren't eating more curry every single day. If you've never tried it, though, I'm making it easy for you with these three curry recipes that all Latinos will love: quick Indian curry with coconut quinoa (because we all love coconut and South American quinoa, right?), Indo-Texan curry chili (yummy meat on rice? Yes, please!) and calabaza fritters with mango-sour orange sauce (made with curry!).

These are sure-fire winners for the whole family—and they're good for you, too!


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Quick Indian Curry With Coconut Quinoa (recipe courtesy of Yummly.com)

1 eggplant (cubed)
1 acorn squash (butternut squash cubed)
12 jalapeno (hot pepper sliced)
1 sweet potato (cubed)
12 cup string bean
12 cup yellow onion (diced)
1 tsp cumin seed
3 tsps butter (ghee)
5 ozs fat-free evaporated milk
1 cup quinoa    
2 cups water
8 ozs garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained)
12 cup raisins
1 tsp coconut extract
23 tsp curry powder (hot madras)
13 tsp curry powder
13 tsp garam masala
1 pinch saffron (thread optional)

1. Measure 2 cups warm water and add saffron threads. Let soak for now.
2. Meanwhile, cut up all the vegetables.
3. Put the quinoa, garbanzo beans, raisins, coconut extract, and saffron water into the bottom of your pressure cooker and then place a vegetable steaming rack above this (the kind that open up like a flower).
4. Put the vegetables in the steaming rack, starting with the squash and sweet potato, then the pepper, eggplant and beans.
5. Oil the gasket, close and lock the pressure cooker, and set heat to medium-high. When high pressure has been reached, cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Depressurize with a quick-release method.
6. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt your buttery substance, and saute cumin seeds until fragrant, 2 or 3 minutes.
7. Add onions and saute until soft but not browned.
8. Add evaporated milk and remaining spices and simmer until slightly thickened, ten minutes or so.
9. Move the vegetables from the rack to a large serving bowl and pour the curry sauce over them, tossing to coat.
10. Remove the rack from the pressure cooker and fluff quinoa. If it is too watery, resume heating until desired consistency.
11. Serve curry spooned over quinoa in bowls and enjoy with naan or pitas.

Indo-Texan Curry Chili (recipe courtesy of Epicurious)

2 Lbs. Ground Beef
4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Tbs. Curry Powder
2 Tsp. Ground Coriander
1 Tsp. Cumin
1 Tsp. Grated Lemon Peel
2 C. Chopped Red Sweet Peppers
1 15-Oz. Can Tomato Puree
2 10-Oz. Cans Rotel
1 10.5-Oz. Can Beef Broth
1 C. Can Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1/4 C. Ketchup
Cooked Rice

Cook ground beef and garlic in large pot until meat is browned. Drain fat. Add curry powder, coriander, cumin, and lemon peel. Stir in sweet peppers, tomato puree, undrained Rotel, broth, coconut milk, and ketchup. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until desired consistency. Serve over warm rice.

Calabaza Fritters with Mango-Sour Orange Sauce (recipe courtesy of Food Network UK)

Ingredients (for calabaza fritters):
5 oz (140g) plain flour
1 tbsp curry powder
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
2.1 fl oz (60 ml) seltzer water
1/2 finely chopped Spanish onion
3 1/2 oz (100g) calabaza, blanched
Oil, for frying

Ingredients (for the mango-sour orange sauce):
1 mango, flesh pureed
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 oz (25g) finely chopped red onion
1 jalapeño, minced
1 sour orange, juiced or 1 lime, juiced
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste

Directions (for the calabaza fritters):
Combine dry ingredients. Add egg and seltzer. Fold in onion and calabaza. Fry at 180C, until golden.

Directions (for the mango-sour orange sauce):
Stir all ingredients together and serve as a dipping sauce.

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Have you ever tried curry? Will you be making one of these Latin-ish curry recipes for dinner? Share with us in the comments below!

Images via Food Network, Rooey202/flickr, Michael w. May/flickr

Topics: healthy latin recipes  latin food  latin recipes