Friday Food: Zan’s Chickpea and spinach curry

Good morning readers! Today we’re welcoming Zan with a fabulous vegetarian recipe for Spinach and Chickpea Curry. I can’t wait to try this one as I’m a huge fan of curry and I think it would be a great addition to the table if you were having a large group of friends over for a curry night and needed a selection of dishes too…

This recipe is one of my staples and a variation on a chickpea curry recipe that an old friend of mine imparted to me while I was at university. It’s changed a bit over the years but it’s one of the few things I can cook entirely from memory and it’s brilliant for cooking in bulk and storing as it freezes really well. I’ve written the recipe for 4 servings but it’s really easy to halve for 2 or double up for lots!

1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon each of mustard seeds & cumin seeds (optional)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
2 x 400g tins of chickpeas
2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
½ – 1 teaspoon salt
1 level teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon chilli powder (or less if you don’t want too much heat)
1 and ½ heaped teaspoons cumin
1 tablespoon tomato puree
Lemon juice
Fresh or dried coriander
2-3 big handfuls of spinach leaves

  • Heat the olive oil in a medium sized saucepan and add the mustard and cumin seeds (if using). Once the seeds start to brown and the mustard seeds start popping (you’ll want to put a lid on the saucepan if you do use mustard seeds!) then add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is just starting to go a nice golden colour.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and the chickpeas. Mix these in well and then add the salt, garam masala, chilli and cumin. Leave to cook on a medium heat for a few minutes then taste to make sure you’re happy with the spices – add more if you want at this stage.
  • Next add the tomato puree and a few generous splashes of lemon juice. If using fresh coriander then rinse, chop or shred by hand and mix in at this stage. For dried coriander I would use about ¾ of a tablespoon.
  • When the spinach is added is really personal preference – I mix it in after the coriander as I like the spinach cooked into the curry. Alternative you can add it about 5 minutes before taking the curry off the heat so that it’s only just wilted.
  • Cook on a low to medium heat for about 30mins, stirring every 5-10mins. If the chickpeas start to stick to the bottom of the pan then add a few splashes of water. Once you can squash a chickpea relatively easily (using the back of a spoon against the side of the pan is my way of testing) then it’s ready.

I usually serve this with basmati rice and some natural yogurt, but naan or pitta bread works just as well. Or even just eating it straight out of a bowl with a spoon on some occasions!

So, are you a curry fan? Or vegetarian perhaps? Either way, I’d love to hear from you with your Friday Food recipes, sweet or savoury, small bites or baked goods. I warn you now, next weeks is a baker’s (and chocoholic’s,) dream….

Love,
Rebecca
xo

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