Once more, we’ve got another virtual-water friendly recipe to share.  Having grown up in the Midwest (as I frequently cite in these posts), I’m used to meals comprised of meat and potatoes.  I love traditional Indian and Thai curries, but every now and then, I want a potato-intensive meal, even if I have to skip out on the meat portion to save water.   Plus, as we’ve touched on before, potatoes have one of the lowest virtual water footprints of any food.

I created this recipe by combining some of my favorite elements of different curry recipes, but with a potato base.  It doesn’t get soupy like a traditional curry, but it’ll deliver the spicy, sweet, savory flavors of a curry without the virtual water guilt.  The best thing about this recipe is that it’s a real “whatever’s in my cupboard” recipe, so if you’re missing a few ingredients, it’ll still work.


6-8 tricolor potatoes

1 onion, diced

1 carrot, sliced

1 clove of garlic, mashed, or 1 Tablespoon garlic powder

3-4 hot peppers, to taste (optional)

1-2 cups brown rice, prepared according to package directions

½ lemon

4-5 basil leaves, sliced into bite-sized pieces

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste.


1.      Prepare brown rice according to package instructions

2.      In large skillet, fry diced potatoes over low-heat in olive oil, lightly mashing with fork until potatoes soften, about 10 minutes.

3.      Add carrots, onions, garlic, turmeric, coriander, and cumin.  Continue to cook over low heat, stirring occasionally 25 minutes.

4.      Squeeze lemon juice into the pan.  Add basil and hot peppers, if desired.  Cook for another 5 minutes.

5.      Potatoes should soften, until the contents of the pan are thick and paste-like.  Add salt and pepper to taste, serve over brown rice.


Servings:  2-3

Virtual Water: 1,120 liters

Virtual Water per serving:  374-560 liters