Quick Chickpea and Coconut Curry
I love chickpeas…
They are my preferred legume when making curry
Why? Well first, the spherical shape looks great, but I also think their buttery-starchy texture and slightly nutty flavour is perfectly suited
This is the ideal quick and easy curry recipe for those of you who get home from work exhausted and don’t get excited at the prospect of dirtying a dozen pots and pans to cook something tasty and healthy, only then to be faced with a huge mess to clean up after!
To make this delicious dish, everything goes in the one pan, and my suggestion is to serve it with roti to soak up the tasty gravy, so you don’t even have to dirty another saucepan to cook rice!
Admittedly in these photos I show steamed beans served on the side. That’s because I forgot to add them to the curry – d’uoh! This actually turned out to be a good thing though, as their lovely green colour made my photos more interesting! However, normally I would throw them in, allowing them to simmer away and soak up the flavour of the curry…
As with most curries, this does get tastier as it sits. So if you can, either make it ahead (say, on the weekend) or make a larger batch and freeze some. You will be so grateful you did on a future night when you won’t have to cook at all. Brilliant!
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large brown onion, sliced or diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons of a mild curry powder
- 1½ - 2 cups coconut milk - I actually used one 400ml tin coconut milk and about ½ cup soy milk
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- 1½ cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 400 gram tin of diced tomatoes
- 3 cups cooked chickpeas, or 2 x 400 gram tins drained and rinsed
- 2 cups (or more if you like) of your choice of vegetable or mixed vegetables - e.g. green beans, cauliflower, zucchini, eggplant, pumpkin (note - any vegetables that take a long time to cook, like eggplant and pumpkin, cut them small to reduce cooking time)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 large handfuls (50 grams approx) baby spinach leaves
- ½ cup fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
- Heat a large frypan over medium heat. When hot, add the oil and onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until soft. Then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the curry powder, cook for 1 minute, then add ¼ cup coconut milk and cook for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour, stir, then gradually add ¼ cup coconut milk and mix until smooth.
- Add 1 more cup of coconut milk, along with the chicken stock, tomatoes, chickpeas and vegetables.
- Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until vegetables are cooked. Add peas and spinach leaves and stir through. Add the extra ½ cup coconut milk if the curry is too thick for your liking.
- Remove from heat. Serve topped with fresh coriander.
Chickpeas are a wonderful source of many important nutrients we need for optimal health. This includes the macronutrients carbohydrate and protein as well as micronutrients such as iron, folate, magnesium, manganese and zinc. In fact chickpeas are a very low GI carbohydrate food, which means they provide a very slow release of energy, which is the best way to fuel the body, plus they help to keep you full for a good length of time.
Chickpeas are an excellent source of fibre, and in fact contain all three different types of fibre – insoluble, soluble and resistant starch. Soluble fibre and resistant starch are important food sources for the healthy bacteria in your gut, helping them to produce important short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) like butyrate which reduces your risk of bowel (colon) cancer. Soluble fibre can also help to lower LDL (called the ‘bad’) cholesterol levels in your body.
Chickpeas are also an excellent source of many different types of antioxidants and phytonutrients which reduce oxidative stress in the body which can cause damage to cells and organs and speed up the ageing process. Quick, give me some chickpeas!!
Planning to use tinned chickpeas for this dish? If so, did you know you can make meringues from the water the tinned chickpeas are in? Sounds funky hey, but have a look at this! Mind you they are still full of sugar, so no healthier than those made the traditional way using egg-white, but I love that they are made using something that normally goes down the drain!