24 September 2014

Recipe: Chickpea Curry

THIS RECIPE IS a cracking healthy curry that's my contribution to my family's Indian heritage.

My nan was born in Calcutta (her mother, my great granny is from India and met my great grandad during the war) and one of my earliest food memories was pounding spices in her kitchen with a mortar and pestle.

I make this for dinner once a week, as it takes just half an hour to rustle up and is a tasty way to introduce a vegetarian meal into your diet.  Because there is no meat in this dish, it keeps the costs down, so I like to splash out a little more on organic tomatoes and tomato puree; it really does make a difference to the overall taste..

Sarah makes a little salad alongside this curry, and I love how the acidity and fruitiness from the apple mixes with the spices.

Note: I've used pre-ground spices in this recipe, but investing in spice grinder or mortar and pestle is a sound acquisition.  Pre-ground spices lose flavour far sooner, so try not keep them in your cupboards for any longer than a couple of months. Freshly ground spices also taste better!

Ingredients (serves 2):

1x tin of chickpeas (400g)
1x large red onion, thinly sliced
1x garlic clove
Tbsp tomato puree
2x green chillis, finely chopped
Knob of ginger, grated
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground mustard seeds
1 tsp chilli powder (adjust depending on how hot you like it)
1x tin of tomatoes
Bag of spinach 
Chicken stock (I use chicken but if you're vegetarian, obviously use veg stock)
2x ripe vine tomatoes, chopped
Splash of lemon juice
Coriander, chopped
Oil for cooking
Salt and pepper

Serve with Sarah's salad (and rice):

1x red onion, roughly chopped
1x apple, roughly chopped
2x tomatoes, roughly chopped
Quarter of a cucumber, chopped
Splash of red wine vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Lemon juice
Salt

Method:

1) Sweat the onions on a low heat for around 10 minutes, making sure not to colour them
2) Add the ginger and garlic, and cook for a minute.
2) Next, add in the spices. Cook for around 30 seconds to release their flavour, before adding the tomato puree. Cook for a further minute to banish the slight bitterness of the puree. 
3) Add in the chickpeas, and coat with the mix.  Drop in the tinned tomatoes and add a little stock to cover - you don't want to end up with too much liquid. Get the rice on at this point.
4) Give that for around 20 mins.  While that's simmering away, prep the salad and place in a bowl. TIP: never dress a salad until last minute, so keep the lemon juice, salt and oil aside.
5) Add the spinach and fresh tomatoes, stir, and cook for 1-2 mins under the spinach has wilted slightly.  Check seasoning at this point.
6) Plate up

Happy cooking!




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