The Musette: spinach and chickpea curry

Although I typically plan our menus at the weekend for the following week, sometimes the weather changes such that we find ourselves longing for something either more refreshing or more warming. The Friday storm Alex hit was one such exception and we both fancied the comfort of a spicy curry. I generally shop at lunchtime on Friday when the supermarkets are relatively tranquil but I’d not gone out on account of the driving rain and high winds. My Smart car Tom doesn’t like really windy conditions! This meant a quick forage in the cupboards, fridge and freezer for inspiration. I always have jars of organic chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and frozen spinach in the freezer which happily with the addition of a few aromatics and served with home made parathas was able to satisfy our desires.

Ingredients (enough for 4 hungry cyclists)

  • 400g (14 oz) jar chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 600g (20 oz) bag frozen spinach
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp red chilli paste
  • thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 2 fat cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp neutral flavoured coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground tumeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • sea salt to taste

Method

1.Using a pestle and mortar, finely grind the chilli paste, garlic and ginger together using a spoonful of water to help make a paste.

2. Heat the coconut oil in a medium sized frying pan (skillet), add the onion and cook for about 10-15 minutes until it’s transluscent.

3. Add the spices, tomato paste, and chilli paste and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.

4. Add chickpeas and spinach with a 1/2 tsp salt. Cook until the spinach defrosts, ensuring everything is well combined. Check seasoning and add lemon juice.

5. Serve with rice or any Indian bread, and some Indian pickles.

Sheree’s Handy Hints

1.It’s so easy to make Indian breads, why wouldn’t you? This time I made Paratha but you could easily make naan or chapatti.

2. You make the Paratha by mixing 125g (4 oz) wholemeal flour with 2 tbsp vegetable oil and 100ml (10 tbsp) water to make a soft dough. Set aside, covered for approx. an hour.

3. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Roll each portion to a thin round. Lightly oil the top before rolling up like a cigar and then coil like a snail before rolling out to a thin round once more. When all four are rolled out, heat a flat cast-iron pan (I use my pancake pan), oil it lightly and cook each paratha for about 2-3 minutes on each side until golden and cooked.

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