December 7, 2023


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For Instant Gravy, Use a Curry Block

2 min read

The only thing better than a good recipe? When something’s so easy to make that you don’t even need one. Welcome to It’s That Simple, a column where we talk you through the process of making the dishes and drinks we can make with our eyes closed.

There are plenty of vegetarian Thanksgiving dishes to round out your holiday table, from showstopping Sweet Potato Tian and pillowy Sour Cream and Chive Rolls, to sweet-savory Twice-Roasted Squash and crackly Brussels Sprouts With Cranberry Mostarda. But if you’re not doing the whole turkey thing—or you’re accommodating a vegetarian guest at your table, gravy can feel like a big question mark.

While the traditional poultry-based Thanksgiving gravy often relies on the remnants of pan drippings from roasting turkey, a vegetarian gravy, relying on boxed or homemade veggie stock, can often feel flat and ascetic.

There’s no reason why vegetarians can’t enjoy a three-dimensional gravy to complement all the holiday dishes. My trick: harnessing the power of Japanese curry blocks. This infuses vegetarian gravy with plenty of spices and depth (with a fraction of the effort—or dishes to wash in the aftermath).

Typically reserved for making Japanese-style curries, these blocks, brimming with warmth from spices like turmeric, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon, offer a bright twist to traditional turkey gravy. I prefer the mild version of S&B brand, but if you are up for some serious spice, the blocks come in many variations depending on your desired heat level preferences.

I once was a purist and only ever made turkey gravies—until this Curry Block Gravy. Whether you’re vegetarian yourself, or you need a gravy for a vegetarian loved one, or you just want to mix it up from your usual turkey gravy this year, Curry Block Gravy checks off all the boxes.

Sunbird Gold Curry Pouch Med Hot, 8.1000-Ounce (Pack of 5)

Here’s how to make Curry Block Gravy

Start by combining 2½ cups water in a small saucepan with a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme, and a splash each of soy sauce and vinegar. (My favorites here are apple cider vinegar or unseasoned rice vinegar.) Bring it to a rolling boil, then turn down the heat and let simmer for 2–3 minutes.

Remove and discard the rosemary and thyme, then plop in 1 Japanese curry block. Thoroughly whisk until there are no lumps, and the gravy is smooth and silky. Serve immediately or cool and refrigerate for later; you can make this a few days ahead and reheat gently, whisking to restore its smoothness.

Whether drizzled over mashed potatoes, poured generously over roasted brussels sprouts, or served alongside plant-based meat alternatives (we see you, Tofurky loyalists), this vegetarian gravy ensures no one feels left behind at the holiday table.

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