18th October 2020
I've a tendency to gravitate towards spicy foods, which can sometimes become too obsessive. The whole romance that comes with cooking a curry; finding a recipe, trying some new ingredients, digging out the spices, slicing, dicing, and all the smells that come with it really gets my juices flowing.
I find the best way, as with most things, is to keep it simple, by using a tried and tested recipe that ticks all the boxes. This is true of the chickpea curry recipe I found in the Fresh India cookbook given to me as a gift from a client. It’s become a treasure trove of discovery into the world of veggie Indian cuisine.
This is a quick, easy, and in expensive dish, that will leave your friends and family asking for more. Just make sure to leave enough for yourself!
I’ve found over the years that the key to making a good curry doesn’t just lie in getting the blend of spices just right; it’s also in making sure you cook the onions enough, getting them nice, soft and translucent.
I sometimes use chard as it’s something I have in abundance on my allotment, and it belongs to the same family as spinach, making it an adept substitute. It happens, in my opinion, to also be tastier.
Serves 4 // Prep – 10 mins // Cooking – 25 mins
3 tablespoons coconut oil
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 large onions, diced
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
2cm ginger, peeled and grated
1 x 400g tinned tomatoes
2 x 400g tins of chickpeas
1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon chilli powder
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
500g spinach or chard, washed
- Heat the oil in a large lidded pan over a medium heat, and, when hot, add the mustard and cumin seeds. Stir for a minute or so until they start to pop, then throw in the onions.
2. Fry for 10 – 12 minutes, frequently stirring, until they become translucent and start to caramelise, then add the garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes, then add the tinned tomatoes. Rinse out the empty can to about a third full with water and add that to the pan also.
3. Cook for around 10 minutes, until most of the fluids have evaporated and it becomes paste-like, then add the chickpeas. Stir in thoroughly, covering the chickpeas with the sauce, letting them warm for a couple of minutes, then add the coriander, chilli powder, turmeric and salt. Finally add the spinach, folding it in amongst the sauce and chickpeas. It will take a few minutes, but eventually it will wilt and shrink into the curry.
4. Cook for around 5 minutes, until the spinach has become soft and tender, and serve with basmati rice or chappatis, and a dollop of natural plain yogurt.
Food made with love, that nourishes mind, body and soul!
Yours in love and health,