Incredible Chickpea Curry

This curry is pretty simple but amazing.  Normally I use a Patak’s Rogan Josh paste for this instead of the whole spices, but really, using whole spices totally makes this dish more fragrant and complex and delicious…

In all, my rice took 25 minutes to cook, and it took the same time to prepare and cook the curry too.  The thing to remember with curries, is that if you have all the ingredients, it’s easy. If you don’t, the ingredients list can look daunting.  Always check out your local Indian food shop – the spices are cheaper than the supermarket and they usually have a great range.Image

You will need:

Some veg oil and a little knob of dairy free spread (Vitalite is nice and buttery)
I medium onion, chopped,
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon black onion seeds
1/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
pinch of hing/asafoetida
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/8 tsp chilli powder (adjust according to your taste pref)
1/2 400g tin of chopped/plum tomatoes
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup stock
few lumps of frozen spinach, defrosted (in microwave)
pinch of dried fenugreek leaves
shake of shake o cini mushroom powder (optional!)
salt, sugar (agave nectar/maple syrup) to taste.
To serve: tomato relish can be great, but this went beautifully with a sweet, smokey aubergine pickle (from Waitrose).

How to:
1. Heat oil in the pan
2. Add cumin, black onion and mustard seeds and fry until sizzling. Add the dairy free spread.
3. Add hing/asafoetida, and stir.
4. Add onions and fry until they are good and soft and starting to brown.
5. Add the ground coriander, chilli and turmeric, stir and cook for 1 min.
6. Chuck in tinned tomatoes and stir.  cook for a few minutes (usually until you see the oil separating from the tomatoes).
7. Add tin of drained chickpeas and stock.
8. Put the spinach in also, stir in the dried fenugreek leaves.  Then season with salt, sweeten with syrup/sugar, add mushroom powder and let simmer until the stock has cooked down and you have a nice sauce.
9. Serve  – with brown basmati rice and pickle.

Potato stuffed dosa with veggie curry

The Dosa was a new discovery for me – I found a packet in the ‘Ethnic Foods Aisle’ at Tesco’s and picked it up, as I was intrigued.  For those that don’t know, it’s a lentil-flour based pancake type thing: In the pack is a powder which you mix with water, then fry in a pan until it goes slightly crunchy whilst still being bendy! It has a lovely subtle but warm flavour and interesting texture.  And the brand name is rather amusing ‘Gits’! tee hee!

Anyway, the filling I put in was based on an Aloo Masala for Dosa (Potato masala) found on Manjula’s kitchen website: The only difference was that I added onion for more flavour and cut down on the green chilli (as I’m a bit of a spice coward!). Oh and I pre-cooked the potatoes so it wouldn’t take so long.

The curry was a simply paste-and-veg jobbie (usually best when you’ve spent time on something else and are suddenly very hungry!).  Ingredients as follows:

Simple veggie curry: (use what you have in the fridge!)
1 onion,
1 Yellow pepper, chopped into largeish chunks
1 Red pepper, chopped into largeish chunks
A few mushrooms, sliced
Rogan Josh curry paste (Patak’s – but whatever flavour takes your fancy)
Tin of Chickpeas
Tin of chopped tomatoes
Chopped fresh coriander
Squeeze of lemon

Method:
1. Fry your onion in a little oil.
2. When softened, add curry paste (according to pack instructions) and fry for a short while.
3. Add the veg (start with the one that needs most cooking, like the peppers, and gradually add the others allowing each to cook a little before you add the next.
4. Add the chickpeas and tinned tomatoes
5. Cook until all veg is tender.
6. Squeeze over and stir in a little fresh lemon juice (optional, but gives it a lift) and garnish with coriander, unless your husband doesn’t like it!!