Sunday, 6 July 2014

Recipe: Left over veg and chick pea curry

What do you do when you don't fancy soup or casserole or gardener's pie but you have a pile of scrappy veg that need using up or you'll have to chuck them . . .?

I had chick peas, passata (from last year) and tomato in the freezer and everything else in the storecupboard.

Cbick pea and vegetable curry

Ingredients (but these could be variable depending on what you have and all amounts are variable - this is very definitely an idea, not a recipe).

1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp chilli paste or very lazy chilli (or to taste)
2 tsp sun dried tomato paste (because I had it and it needed using up - could be tomato puree)
a good pinch each of ground coriander, cumin and cinnamon
Some garam masala (to taste)

A selection of veg.  I used onion, carrot, cauliflower, celery, red, yellow and orange pepper, mushrooms and tinned potatoes (I love potatoes in curry) all chopped to sort of bite sized bits, not too big and not too small.

Butter (I don't keep ghee in store) or oil

Chick peas (from a tin or soaked and pre cooked.

Chopped tomatoes or passata

Marigold vegetable bouillon.

A bit of frozen (or fresh) spinach if you like (I did)

Melt some butter in a large pan.  Toss in the onion, celery, cauliflower - in fact, any of the veg that might need a little longer cooking.  Stir well to coat with the butter and saute gently for a while, uintil softening and releasing that aroma.  Stir from time to time.  Then add the middly cooking veg, such as the peppers, stir and continue saute-ing.

While this is going on, combine the spices in a bowl.

Turn up the heat, add the spice paste and stir well.  Allow to cook out until it smells 'done', stirring continuously to avoid catching.

Add the 'short cook' veg (such as mushrooms or the cooked potatoes) and mix in well.  Then add the chopped tomatoes/passata, some vegetable bouillon, some salt and pepper and the chick peas.  Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring and check the seasoning, adding whatever you think is needed.

Allow to simmer, uncovered, so that it thickens, stirring now and again to avoid sticking.  Keep tasting (because it is nice)!  Add water if needed or cover, if it's thickening too quickly.

When it is done, allow to cool, place in a bowl you can cover and pop in the fridge until the next day so the flavours develop.

Reheat to piping hot, check seasoning and add the spinach.  If you like, add some yogurt or cream or even some coconut milk.

Serve with rice or a naan or something similar with natural yogurt to dollop on top and a chutney on the side.

It was very delicious.  I had it with lentil and potato dhal (see other recipe), basmati rice, natural yogurt and mango chutney.  Very tasty, very filling and there's plenty left over for another day.

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