Spinach and chickpea curry
A quick and easy vegetable curry that is a meal in itself or could be part of an Indian feast.
1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons whole mustard seeds
1 onion, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground asafoetida
3 cardamom pods, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1 tin/400g tinned plum tomatoes, squeezed and drained with juice reserved and tomatoes torn in to pieces
2 tins/800g chickpeas
2 bags/450g fresh spinach leaves
Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and, when hot, add the mustard seeds.
Cover quickly with a lid while cooking for about 1 minute or until the seeds have stopped popping.
Add the diced onion and cook for about 7 minutes until golden brown and well softened.
Add the garlic and ginger and allow to cook for a further 2 minutes.
Add all the spices and fry gently for a minute while their spicy smell rises from the pan.
Add the tomato juice and stir the pan well while cooking for a further minute while some of the liquid evaporates.
Add the tomato pieces and cook gently until heated through.
Add a handful of spinach leaves and stir through until wilted before adding the next handfuls.
Meanwhile, heat the chickpeas (in another pan or in the microwave on Full power for 6 minutes) and then drain.
Add the hot chickpeas to the spinach mix in the pan. Stir through.
Simmer gently for 10 minutes with the lid on and a further 10 minutes uncovered – the curry should be moist but not too wet.
Serve with rice or couscous.
Use a tall pan with a lid. Drop a single mustard seed in to the oil – if it pops, the oil is hot enough. Put on the lid as soon as you add the rest of the seeds, they pop and jump like mad. The spinach mainly reduces to create a thick spicy sauce with the chickpeas providing a different texture.
This will serve 4-6 people and any left-overs can be frozen for another day.