Monday 27 July 2009

Sweet potato and chickpea curry

A fiery, easy-to-cook treat for a naughty Monday hangover.

I have had a hankering for a good curry for a while now, so threw this together in a very haphazard fashion this evening and was delighted with the results. It takes about an hour to make as I cooked it pretty slowly but it's worth it. You can serve this with a traditional side of rice, but actually it's very filling as a single dish in itself as it's chock full of potato and beans.

Ingredients (serves about 2):

1 onion, finely chopped
Approx 3 heaped teaspoons garam masala
1 heaped teaspoon cumin
Approx 1 teaspoon fresh red chilli
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 sweet potato, cubed
1/2 courgette, sliced
1 tin chickpeas
1 carton passata or a tin of chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
Handful of sunflower/ pumpkin seeds
Salt & pepper
Natural yogurt (optional)


Heat some olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the mustard seeds when the oil is hot. When they start to pop a little, add the onion, garam masala, cumin, and garlic. Stir well and season lightly with some salt and pepper. Cook the onion and the spices for 2 - 3 mins, stirring to prevent burning.

Add the chopped sweet potato and courgette and turn the heat down to medium-low. Cover and cook for 5 mins.

Add in the sunflower seeds and the passata. I prefer to use passata to a tin of tomatoes for the thicker texture it yields and the deeper flavour it provides, but use whatever is knocking about in your kitchen. Add the sugar (it cancels out any bitterness in the tomatoes) and season again with salt and pepper. Add 1 or 2 chillis depending on your preference - keep the seeds in if you want it super hot and spicy.

Cook this uncovered on a low heat for approximately 1 hour. Give it a stir every once in a while to make sure it isn't sticking to the bottom; if it sticks, add a little water to loosen the mixture. Taste well and season again before serving if needs be.

Mine turned out sweat-inducingly spicy as I am somewhat of a novice at cooking with fresh chilli. To take the edge off, I served the curry with a big dollop of natural yogurt and it was delicious.

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