A must-try recipe for savoury Indian chickpeas, straight from Ella Mills' cookbook Natural Feasts.
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 curry leaves, or 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 leek, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons ground coriander
- 2 tablespoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 inch fresh ginger, finely grated
- 5 garlic cloves, finely grated
- two 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 green finger chilies, halved lengthwise
- salt and pepper
- two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 9 ounces baby spinach
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- cilantro leaves, to serve
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and throw in the curry leaves, if using. Let them sizzle away and release their flavour for a few minutes, then drop in the leek and stir.
Add the dry spices—including the curry powder if you're not using curry leaves—and stir so that they're mixed nicely with the leek. Let this cook for a few minutes before adding the onion, ginger and garlic; at this point you can add 1-2 tablespoons of water if things are starting to stick to the pan. Cook for a few minutes before adding the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, green chilies and plenty of salt and pepper. After you've poured in the tomatoes from their cans, swish a little water around in each can to get the remaining juice, and then add this to the saucepan, too. Let everything bubble away for 20 minutes.
Add the chickpeas and cook for another 10 minutes.
Stir in the spinach, just until it wilts. Let cool slightly, then stir in the lemon juice and serve in shallow bowls, sprinkling cilantro leaves over the curry.